A morphometric CT study of Down's syndrome showing small posterior fossa and calcification of basal ganglia

Neuroradiology. 1984;26(6):493-8. doi: 10.1007/BF00342687.


We report characteristic and morphometric changes of cranial computed tomography (CT) with increasing age in 56 patients with Down's syndrome aged from 0 month to 37 years. Patients were compared with 142 normal controls aged 0 to 59 years. Width of ventricles, Sylvian fissures, posterior fossa, pons and cisterna magna were measured on CT. The incidences of the cavum septi pellucidi, cavum vergae and cavum veli interpositi and high density in the basal ganglia were examined. There was high incidence (10.7%) of bilateral calcification of basal ganglia in Down's syndrome, although that of pineal body and choroid plexus calcification was similar in Down's syndrome and controls. Basal ganglia calcification is more frequently seen in young Down's syndrome and may be related to the premature aging characteristic of Down's syndrome. The CT in Down's syndrome showed relatively small posterior fossa, small cerebellum, small brain stem and relatively large Sylvian fissures in those under one year of age. There was a high frequency of midline cava and large cisterna magna. There were no significant atrophic changes on CT except after the fifth decade comparing with controls.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Basal Ganglia Diseases / diagnostic imaging*
  • Biometry
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Calcinosis / diagnostic imaging*
  • Cerebral Ventriculography
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cranial Fossa, Posterior / diagnostic imaging*
  • Down Syndrome / diagnostic imaging*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Skull / diagnostic imaging*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods*