Calcification of ischemic lesions in a child's brain is well recognized by pathologists; however, clinicians and radiologists usually associate cerebral calcification with infections, particularly the TORCH organisms. We illustrate this phenomenon in a 5-month-old infant with extensive, calcified, multicystic encephalomalacia without evidence of a cerebral infection. In order to ascertain the incidence of cerebral calcification in pure hypoxic-ischemic lesions, we retrospectively analyzed 486 consecutive autopsies. Ninety-nine patients had histologic evidence of cerebral hypoxic-ischemic lesions and hypoxia or ischemia. Thirty-nine of these patients displayed microscopic calcification; 23 patients had slight, 12 had minor, and 4 had prominent calcifications. Prominent calcification lesions were large enough to be detected by routine radiologic methods. Correlations between degree of calcification and the underlying disease process and between the gestational age and the length of survival were not statistically significant. This study illustrates the very frequent occurrence of brain calcification in ischemic brain lesions in children. It is necessary to include this diagnosis in the differential diagnosis of cerebral calcification.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
- Developmental Neuroscience
- Clinical Neurology