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Br J Radiol. 2011 Jan;84(997):5-18. doi: 10.1259/bjr/21946513.

The corpus callosum: white matter or terra incognita.

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Department of Radiology, Geneva University Hospital University of Geneva, Switzerland.


The corpus callosum is the largest white matter structure in the brain, consisting of 200-250 million contralateral axonal projections and the major commissural pathway connecting the hemispheres of the human brain. The pathology of the corpus callosum includes a wide variety of entities that arise from different causes such as congenital, inflammatory, tumoural, degenerative, infectious, metabolic, traumatic, vascular and toxic agents. The corpus callosum, or a specific part of it, can be affected selectively. Numerous pathologies of the corpus callosum are encountered during CT and MRI. The aim of this study is to facilitate a better understanding and thus treatment of the pathological entities of the corpus callosum by categorising them according to their causes and their manifestations in MR and CT imaging. Familiarity with its anatomy and pathology is important to the radiologist in order to recognise its disease at an early stage and help the clinician establish the optimal therapeutic approach.

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