Presumed cholesterinic granulomas detected on CT in horses are associated with increased lateral ventricle height and age

Ralph A. Lloyd-Edwards*, Dorien S. Willems, Martijn Beukers, Astrid van den Brom-Spierenburg, Johannes C.M. Vernooij, Stefanie Veraa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Cholesterinic granulomas are mass-like lesions that form at the choroid plexus of the ventricular system. Large cholesterinic granulomas within the lateral ventricles have been reported to cause severe neurological signs. However, little data are available about their prevalence or appearance in the overall population. The objective was to report the prevalence of presumed cholesterinic granulomas on CT in a population of horses, and investigate associations between presumed cholesterinic granuloma presence, lateral ventricle size, age, and neurological signs. The study was cross sectional, CT scans of the head were assessed for presumed cholesterinic granuloma presence and size, and lateral ventricle height. Computed tomography findings and clinical information were compared using nonparametric testing. Computed tomography scans of 139 horses were included. Presumed cholesterinic granulomas were found in 22 horses (15.8%), nine were unilateral and 13 bilateral. A significant increase in prevalence was observed with age (P <.0001), with 38% of horses over 15 years old affected. The median volume of presumed cholesterinic granulomas was 242 mm3 with a range from 51 to 2420 mm3. The mean lateral ventricle height was significantly increased in horses with presumed cholesterinic granulomas present (P =.004), with a median of 7.3 mm compared to 4.9 mm without. Neurological signs were not associated with presumed cholesterinic granuloma presence or lateral ventricle height. Fourth ventricle mineralizations were found in seven horses, which may represent cholesterinic granulomas. In conclusion, presumed cholesterinic granulomas occurred in a large proportion of the examined population and are associated with increased lateral ventricle dilation and advanced age.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages10
JournalVeterinary Radiology and Ultrasound
Publication statusPublished - 5 Feb 2020


  • cholesteatomas
  • equine
  • hydrocephalus
  • mineralisation
  • neurological


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