Brain stones revisited-between a rock and a hard place

Froilan G. Celzo, Caroline Venstermans, Frank De Belder, Johan van Goethem, Luc van den Hauwe, Thijs van der Zijden, Maurits Voormolen, Tomas Menovsky, Andrew Maas, Paul M. Parizel

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

10 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

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. Results: This article provides a pictorial review illustrating various clinical entities resulting in brain stones. Discussion: 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. Teaching Points • 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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)625-635
Number of pages11
JournalInsights into Imaging
Volume4
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2013
Externally publishedYes

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