[Basal ganglia calcification]

Rev Med Interne. 2020 Jun;41(6):404-412. doi: 10.1016/j.revmed.2020.02.016. Epub 2020 Mar 9.
[Article in French]


Calcifications of the basal ganglia are frequently seen on the cerebral CT scans and particularly in the globus pallidus. Their frequency increases physiologically with age after 50 years old. However, pathological processes can also be associated with calcium deposits in the gray nuclei, posterior fossa or white matter. Unilateral calcification is often related to an acquired origin whereas bilateral ones are mostly linked to an acquired or genetic origin that will be sought after eliminating a perturbation of phosphocalcic metabolism. In pathological contexts, these calcifications may be accompanied by neurological symptoms related to the underlying disease: Parkinson's syndrome, psychiatric and cognitive disorders, epilepsy or headache. The purpose of this article is to provide a diagnostic aid, in addition to clinical and biology, through the analysis of calcification topography and the study of different MRI sequences.

Keywords: Brain; Calcifications; IRM; Magnetic resonance imaging; Système nerveux central.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Age of Onset
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / physiology
  • Basal Ganglia / diagnostic imaging
  • Basal Ganglia / pathology
  • Basal Ganglia Diseases* / diagnosis
  • Basal Ganglia Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Basal Ganglia Diseases* / etiology
  • Basal Ganglia Diseases* / metabolism
  • Calcinosis* / diagnosis
  • Calcinosis* / epidemiology
  • Calcinosis* / etiology
  • Calcinosis* / metabolism
  • Calcium Phosphates / adverse effects
  • Calcium Phosphates / metabolism
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Middle Aged
  • Nerve Degeneration / diagnosis
  • Nerve Degeneration / epidemiology
  • Nerve Degeneration / etiology
  • Nerve Degeneration / metabolism
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed


  • Calcium Phosphates
  • calcium phosphate