Intracranial calcification is a common finding on brain imaging which can be non-specific. The calcification can be physiological or pathological. Likewise, subcortical calcification is a non-specific finding on non-contrast-enhanced computed tomography. This could be secondary to multiple underlying diseases such as Sturge-Weber syndrome, tuberous sclerosis, Fahr disease, post-chemoradiotherapy change, and metabolic disorders secondary to parathyroid or thyroid gland abnormalities. On the other hand, subcortical calcification secondary to arteriovenous malformation and dural venous fistula are uncommon findings. We report two cases with subcortical calcification secondary to these vascular malformations. We aim to highlight the importance of recognising subcortical calcification as one of the possible imaging appearances of dural venous fistula and arteriovenous malformation.
We report two cases, whom were a 45-year-old lady and a 20-year-old man, with subcortical calcification on non-contrast-enhanced computed tomography, which were later confirmed to be secondary to chronic venous congestion as the results of dural venous fistula and arteriovenous malformation, respectively. Both patients underwent magnetic resonance imaging of the brain and digital substraction angiography to confirm the diagnosis. Subsequently, both patients were offered embolisation with the 45-year-old lady opting for conservative management and the 20-year-old man waiting for the procedure, at the time of writing.
Venous congestion secondary to intracranial vascular malformation is an important differential diagnosis for extensive subcortical and basal ganglia calcification. Knowledge on the possibility of vascular malformation to present with subcortical calcification is crucial to avoid misdiagnosis and mismanagement of the patients.