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Minor physical anomalies in patients with first-episode psychosis: their frequency and diagnostic specificity

  • T. Lloyd (a1), P. Dazzan (a2), K. Dean (a2), S. B. G. Park (a1), P. Fearon (a2), G. A. Doody (a3), J. Tarrant (a1), K. D. Morgan (a2), C. Morgan (a2), G. Hutchinson (a4), J. Leff (a2), G. Harrison (a5), R. M. Murray (a2) and P. B. Jones (a6)...



An increased prevalence of minor physical anomalies (MPAs) has been extensively documented in schizophrenia but their specificity for the disorder remains unclear. We investigated the prevalence and the predictive power of MPAs in a large sample of first-episode psychotic patients across a range of diagnoses.


MPAs were examined in 242 subjects with first-episode psychosis (50% schizophrenia, 45% affective psychosis and 5% substance-induced psychosis) and 158 healthy controls. Categorical principal components analysis and analysis of variance were undertaken, and individual items with the highest loading were tested using the χ2 test.


Overall facial asymmetry, assymetry of the orbital landmarks, and frankfurt horizontal significantly differentiated patients with schizophrenia and affective psychosis from controls, as did a ‘V-shaped’ palate, reduced palatal ridges, abnormality of the left ear surface and the shape of the left and right ears. Patients with affective psychosis had significantly lowered eye fissures compared with control subjects.


MPAs are not specific to schizophrenia, suggesting a common developmental pathway for non-affective and affective psychoses. The topographical distribution of MPAs in this study is suggestive of an insult occurring during organogenesis in the first trimester of pregnancy.


Corresponding author

*Address for correspondence: Dr Tuhina Lloyd, M.Medsci, M.R.C.Psych, Division of Psychiatry, Duncan Macmillan House, Porchester Road, Nottingham NG3 6AA, UK. (Email:


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Minor physical anomalies in patients with first-episode psychosis: their frequency and diagnostic specificity

  • T. Lloyd (a1), P. Dazzan (a2), K. Dean (a2), S. B. G. Park (a1), P. Fearon (a2), G. A. Doody (a3), J. Tarrant (a1), K. D. Morgan (a2), C. Morgan (a2), G. Hutchinson (a4), J. Leff (a2), G. Harrison (a5), R. M. Murray (a2) and P. B. Jones (a6)...


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