Calcification of Adenoid-(Adenoid lith) in Persistent Adenoid

Patients who have persistent adenoid when undergo CT imaging rarely show specks of calcification as seen in the CT scan above.


Calcified specks in adenoid are not uncommon, like tonsillolith. Rarely calcification is seen in TB, and tumors involving adenoid tissue in the naso pharynx.

Although the adenoid is thought to regress in adolescence, it appears that it can remain hypertrophied and become symptomatic in adulthood. A thorough clinical investigation culminating in biopsy is essential to exclude more ominous pathology.

adenoid tonsil

The adenoid usually reaches is greatest size by about age 5 years or so, and then regress by late childhood – generally by the age of 7 years.

The adenoids, like all lymphoid tissue, enlarge when infected. Although lymphoid tissue does act to fight infection, sometimes bacteria and viruses can lodge within it and survive. Chronic infection, either viral or bacterial, can keep the pad of adenoids enlarged for years, even into adulthood. Some viruses, such as the Epstein-Barr Virus can cause dramatic enlargement of lymphoid tissue. Primary or reactivation infections with Epstein Barr Virus, and certain other bacteria and viruses, can even cause enlargement of the adenoidal pad in an adult whose adenoids had previously become atrophied.

Adenoids are rarely visible on physical examination without the skilled use of mirrors or fiber optic endoscopes. A lateral X-ray view of the skull taken to show soft tissue density can show the adenoids, as can other imaging studies such as CT scans.