Salted pretzel sign (CT head)

Last revised by Andrew Murphy on 11 Sep 2020

The salted pretzel sign is an uncommon sign of the presence of numerous small (<3 mm) calcific foci in the distal branches of a cerebral artery on non-contrast CT head that represent a shower of calcified cerebral emboli 1. Cerebral calcified emboli may be the initial manifestation of significant vascular or cardiac disease 2 and prompts cardiovascular workup. 

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Cases and figures

  • Case 1
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