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La radiologia medica

, Volume 119, Issue 6, pp 408–414 | Cite as

Dilated Virchow–Robin spaces and multiple sclerosis: 3 T magnetic resonance study

  • Renata ConfortiEmail author
  • Mario Cirillo
  • Pietro Paolo Saturnino
  • Antonio Gallo
  • Rosaria Sacco
  • Alberto Negro
  • Antonella Paccone
  • Giuseppina Caiazzo
  • Alvino Bisecco
  • Simona Bonavita
  • Sossio Cirillo
Neuroradiology

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this study was to assess differences in the presence, size, number and site of dilated cerebral Virchow–Robin spaces (VRSd) between patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) in the inactive phase and healthy controls, and between MS patients with disabling (MSd) or nondisabling (MSnd) disease.

Materials and methods

The study was performed by retrospectively analysing the 3 T magnetic resonance studies of 40 MS patients and 30 healthy subjects (matched for age, education and gender). The data were analysed with MIPAV (Medical Image Processing, Analysis and Visualisation) software to assess for VRSd and with FSL SIENA-X to measure global cerebral atrophy (GCA) expressed as brain parenchyma fraction.

Results

The MS patients had significantly higher VRSd number (p < 0.011), area (p < 0.0073) and volume (p < 0.0071) than controls, with a marked increase for atypical sites (p < 0.0069) without significant intragroup differences between the disease forms (MSd vs MSnd). The number and size of VRSd did not correlate with GCA.

Conclusions

Our results confirm previous reports regarding the increase in VRSd in nonactive phases of MS and support the immunological role of the VRS within the central nervous system. The lack of correlation between VRSd and the degree of GCA and their prevailing localisation in atypical sites in MS patients make VRSd a potential marker of inflammatory-demyelinating disease.

Keywords

Perivascular spaces Virchow–Robin spaces Multiple sclerosis Magnetic resonance 

Notes

Conflict of interest

Renata Conforti, Mario Cirillo, Pietro Paolo Saturnino, Antonio Gallo, Rosaria Sacco, Alberto Negro, Antonella Paccone, Giuseppina Caiazzo, Alvino Bisecco, Simona Bonavita, Sossio Cirillo declare that they have no conflict of interest related with the publication of this article.

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Copyright information

© Italian Society of Medical Radiology 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Renata Conforti
    • 1
    Email author
  • Mario Cirillo
    • 1
  • Pietro Paolo Saturnino
    • 1
  • Antonio Gallo
    • 2
  • Rosaria Sacco
    • 2
  • Alberto Negro
    • 1
  • Antonella Paccone
    • 3
  • Giuseppina Caiazzo
    • 3
  • Alvino Bisecco
    • 2
  • Simona Bonavita
    • 2
  • Sossio Cirillo
    • 1
  1. 1.Neuroradiology Service, Department of RadiologySecond University of NaplesNaplesItaly
  2. 2.Department of NeurologySecond University of NaplesNaplesItaly
  3. 3.MRI Research Center SUN-FISM, Second University of NaplesNaplesItaly

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