Brain stones revisited—between a rock and a hard place
Objectives and methods
Large intracranial calcifications are occasionally encountered in routine computed tomography (CT) scans of the brain. These calcifications, also known as “brain stones”, can be classified according to location and aetiology. Combining imaging findings with relevant clinical history and physical examination can help narrow down the differential diagnosis and may allow confident diagnosis in certain situations.
This article provides a pictorial review illustrating various clinical entities resulting in brain stones.
Based on location, brain stones can be classified as extra- or intra-axial. Extra-axial brain stones comprise tumours and exaggerated physiological calcifications. Intra-axial brain stones can further be classified according to aetiology, namely neoplastic, vascular, infectious, congenital and endocrine/metabolic. Imaging findings combined with essential clinical information can help in narrowing the differential diagnosis, determining disease state and evaluating effect of therapy.
• Based on location, brain stones can be either extra- or intra-axial.
• Extra-axial brain stones comprise tumours and exaggerated physiological calcifications.
• Intra-axial aetiologies include neoplastic, vascular, infectious, congenital and endocrine/metabolic.
• CT scan is the mainstay in identifying and characterising brain stones.
• Certain MRI sequences (gradient echo T2* and susceptibility-weighted imaging) are considered adjunctive.
- Brain stones revisited—between a rock and a hard place
- Open Access
- Available under Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Insights into Imaging
Volume 4, Issue 5 , pp 625-635
- Cover Date
- Online ISSN
- Springer Berlin Heidelberg
- Additional Links
- Brain diseases/pathology*
- Computed tomography
- Industry Sectors
- Author Affiliations
- 1. Department of Radiology, Antwerp University Hospital, University of Antwerp, Wilrijkstraat 10, 2650, Edegem, Belgium
- 2. Department of Neurosurgery, Antwerp University Hospital, University of Antwerp, Wilrijkstraat 10, 2650, Edegem, Belgium