The CT (Hounsfield unit) number of brain tissue in healthy infants. A new reliable method for detection of possible degenerative disease

Childs Nerv Syst. 1987;3(3):175-7. doi: 10.1007/BF00717896.


It is difficult to correlate CT Hounsfield unit (H. U.) numbers from one CT investigation to another and from one CT scanner to another, especially when dealing with small changes in the brain substance, as in degenerative brain diseases in children. By subtracting the mean value of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) from the mean value of grey and white matter, it is possible to remove most of the errors due, for example, to maladjustments, short and long-term drift, X-ray fan, and detector asymmetry. Measurements of white and grey matter using these methods showed CT H. U. numbers changing from 15 H. U. to 22 H. U. in white matter and 23 H. U. to 30 H. U. in grey matter in 86 healthy infants aged 0-5 years. In all measurements, the difference between grey and white matter was exactly 8 H. U. The method has proven to be highly accurate and reproducible.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Brain / pathology
  • Brain Damage, Chronic / pathology
  • Brain Diseases / pathology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Humans
  • Hydrocephalus / pathology
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Nerve Degeneration
  • Reference Values
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed*