Dural arachnoid granulations and "giant" arachnoid granulations

Surg Radiol Anat. 2008 Jul;30(5):417-21. doi: 10.1007/s00276-008-0345-2. Epub 2008 Apr 8.


Although arachnoid granulations (AGs) were already described by Antonio Pacchioni more than 300 years ago, two issues draw particular attention: first, the radiological features and differential diagnosis of the so-called giant AGs (GAGs) and second, their possible association with various disease processes. In order to evaluate the frequency, size and normal distribution of GAGs, an anatomical study of the dural sinuses was carried out. It involved all the autopsies performed during the period August 2002-February 2005 and included 651 cases: 306 females and 345 males, aged 13-99 years (mean 69 years). Grossly visible GAGs were identified in 24 cases: 7 females and 17 males, aged 45-92 years (mean 69 years). This is the largest population-based anatomical study on GAGs. It shows that GAGs, in general a rare finding (3.68%), are rather common in the adult population, especially in the elderly (aged >65 years) and that they can reach remarkable size (up to 2.5 cm and more in diameter). Giant AGs should be considered in the radiological differential diagnosis of intradural lesions, particularly those occurring in the transverse sinus of the elderly.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / pathology*
  • Arachnoid / anatomy & histology*
  • Arachnoid / pathology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Transverse Sinuses / anatomy & histology*
  • Transverse Sinuses / pathology
  • Young Adult