The Calcified Pineal Body and Carcinoma

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THE pineal body or epiphysis is one of the controversial body structures as regards function. However, recent investigation supported by morphologic evidence suggests that the pineal body serves as an endocrine gland,1 and that it may have an antigonadotropic activity.2 Because anatomic and physiologic changes have been noted in the endocrine glands of patients with certain carcinomas, it was thought worthwhile to study the pineal body in a series of patients having carcinoma. Since there are no known means of determining or measuring the function of the pineal body, the investigation was limited to roentgen study of pineal calcification. It is the purpose of this paper to record the roentgen findings of pineal calcification in a selected series of patients having carcinoma and those in a control group of patients not having malignant neoplasm.

Material and Method

Selection of patients. All patients having metastatic carcinoma of the brain or skull and all patients having primary carcinoma of the breast, or of the head and neck, who were examined at the Cleveland Clinic between October 30, 1945, and October 27, 1954, were selected for the initial survey. In a review of the charts of 1,172 patients, 164 were found which listed available skull roentgenograms. These 164 patients comprised the malignant group for this study. The sites of their primary carcinomas were as follows: breast, 73 patients; lung, 34; prostate, 12; mouth, nose, and throat, 12; lower gastrointestinal tract, 6; upper gastrointestinal tract, 3; pancreas and bile ducts, 3; kidney, 3; uterus . . .



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