Intracranial physiological calcifications in adults on computed tomography in Tabriz, Iran
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Intracranial physiological calcifications are unaccompanied by any evidence of disease and have no demonstrable pathological cause. They are often due to calcium and sometimes iron deposition in the blood vessels of different structures of the brain. Computed tomography (CT) is the most sensitive means of detection of these calcifications. The aim of this study was the assessment of intracranial physiological calcifications in adults. We studied 1569 cases ranging in age from 15 to 85 in Tabriz Imam Khomeini Hospital, Iran. These patients had a history of head trauma and their CT scan did not show any evidence of pathological findings. The structures evaluated consisted of (A) the pineal gland, (B) the choroid plexus, (C) the habenula, (D) the basal ganglia, (E) the tentorium cerebelli, sagittal sinus and falx cerebri, (F) vessels and (G) lens and other structures which could be calcified. Of the 1569 subjects, 71.0% had pineal calcification, 66.2% had choroid plexus calcification, 20.1% had habenular calcification, 7.3% had tentorium cerebelli, sagittal sinus or falx cerebri calcifications, 6.6% had vascular calcification, 0.8% had basal ganglia calcification and 0.9% had lens and other non-defined calcifications. In general, the frequency of intracranial physiological calcifications was greater in men than in women. All types of calcification increased at older ages except for lens and other non-defined calcifications. We evaluated all the cranial structures and determined percentages for all types of intracranial physiological calcification. These statistics can be used for comparing physiological and pathological intracranial calcifications. Moreover, these statistics may be of interest from the clinical perspective and are potentially of clinical use. Copyright é 2007 Via Medica.