Imaging of the head, neck and spine

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1. Calcification/density

This may be a normal finding or be pathological. Calcification is commonly seen in the central falx. It is a normal finding in the pineal which is a midline structure & often used as a marker for midline shift if calcified. The basal ganglia may calcify in elderly people & show as clusters of irregular calcification on either side of the midline.
Abnormal calcification may take many forms. There may be increased density in the skull vault itself or calcification within the brain. Calcification within the brain may be:

These are difficult to interpret and if calcification is seen within the brain on plain films a CT scan is indicated.

Increased density in the skull itself may be a normal finding as in hyperostosis frontalis interna. This causes increased density in the frontal regions in older patients and is common in elderly females. It has no significance.

Abnormal hyperostosis may affect any part of the skull.

Low density opacities are commonly produced by bunches of hair and these can be confusing.

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