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What does the multiple high density areas on an imaging study mean?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2009
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I recently had a CT scan of my head done and the report says "Multiple high density areas of the soft tissue of the brain and left lateral neck in the course of the carotid artery. The appearance is consistent with carotid artery calcification" and "There are multiple small high densities in the soft tissue of the brain in the midlin. The appearance is consistent with pineal gland calcifications'......I understand the carotid artery part but what does the multiple high density areas mean?
Posted Sat, 4 Jan 2014 in Brain and Spine
Answered by Dr. Shoaib Khan 1 hour later
Brief Answer: High density is an area lighter than the rest Detailed Answer: Hello ma'am and welcome. Thank you for writing to us. A high density image on an imaging study (eg. x-ray, CT scan, MRI, etc.) is a region which seems to appear lighter than the rest of the film region, depicting some kind of abnormality; in your case, the high density should have been seen due to a calcified pineal gland (which is located in the brain) and in the carotid artery. This is usually an age-related process. The high density simple points out an abnormality (different from normal here), from an otherwise normal film study. I hope I have succeeded in explaining this to you in a manner you best understand ma'am. If you have any further clarifications, or if there is anything unclear about what I have explained above, please feel free to write back to me. I would be more than happy to help you. Best wishes.
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Follow-up: What does the multiple high density areas on an imaging study mean? 23 hours later
Is this something I should be nervous about? I mean, the high density areas of my brain? I have been having occasional, brief headaches. Some more intense than others but they usually only last a few seconds.......
Answered by Dr. Shoaib Khan 5 hours later
Brief Answer: Cannot predict cause for concern at this stage Detailed Answer: Hello once again ma'am. Well these areas in your specific case are due to the accumulation of calcium, which can be caused due to various conditions like hypoparathyroidism, strokes, tumors, brain injury, etc. As you have not reported any symptoms other than headaches, I would suggest you visit your doctor for a more elaborate evaluation and also request for a blood investigation to check on your parathyroid hormone levels, as low levels can lead to subsequently raised calcium levels. In response to your query, there are certain serious causes for such a presentation, and there are milder ones; at this stage prediction of seriousness would not be possible, as we are still unaware of the exact causative factor. I hope you find my response helpful. Please feel free to write back to me for any further clarifications, I would be more than happy to help you. Best wishes.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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