Corpora arenacea

Brain sand
Latin Corpora arenacea
Code TH H3.

Anatomical terminology

Corpora arenacea (or brain sand or acervuli[1][2] or corpus arenaceum[3]) are calcified structures in the pineal gland and other areas of the brain such as the choroid plexus. Older organisms have numerous corpora arenacea, whose function, if any, is unknown. Concentrations of "brain sand" increase with age, so the pineal gland becomes increasingly visible on X-rays over time, usually by the third or fourth decade. They are sometimes used as anatomical landmarks in radiological examinations.[4]

Chemical analysis shows that they are composed of calcium phosphate, calcium carbonate, magnesium phosphate, and ammonium phosphate.[5] Recently, calcite deposits have been described as well.[6]


  1. Vígh, B; Szél, A; Debreceni, K; Fejér, Z; Manzano e Silva, MJ; Vígh-Teichmann, I (1998). "Comparative histology of pineal calcification". Histology and Histopathology. 13 (3): 851–70. PMID 9690142.
  2. Kim, Jinkyung; Kim, Hyun-Wook; Chang, Soeun; Kim, Jee Woong; Je, Jung Ho; Rhyu, Im Joo (2012). "Growth patterns for acervuli in human pineal gland". Scientific Reports. 2: 984. Bibcode:2012NatSR...2E.984K. doi:10.1038/srep00984. PMC 3523289Freely accessible. PMID 23248747.
  3. Tomonari, Yuki; Sato, Junko; Wako, Yumi; Tsuchitani, Minoru (2012). "Age-related Histological Findings in the Pineal Gland of Crl:CD(SD) Rats". Journal of Toxicologic Pathology. 25 (4): 287–91. doi:10.1293/tox.25.287. PMC 3517926Freely accessible. PMID 23345933.
  4. "thesis:The Effect of Fluoride on the Physiology of the Pineal Gland" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-08-04. The calcified pineal is used as a landmark in skull X- rays because of its radio-opacity
  5. Bocchi, Giancarlo; Valdre, Giovanni; Valdre, Giovanni (1993). "Physical, chemical, and mineralogical characterization of carbonate-hydroxyapatite concretions of the human pineal gland". Journal of Inorganic Biochemistry. 49 (3): 209–20. doi:10.1016/0162-0134(93)80006-U. PMID 8381851.
  6. Baconnier, Simon; Lang, Sidney B.; Polomska, Maria; Hilczer, Bozena; Berkovic, Garry; Meshulam, Guilia (2002). "Calcite microcrystals in the pineal gland of the human brain: First physical and chemical studies". Bioelectromagnetics. 23 (7): 488–95. doi:10.1002/bem.10053. PMID 12224052.

Further reading

External links

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