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Keywords:

  • Multiple Sclerosis;
  • magnetic resonance imaging;
  • magnetic resonance venography;
  • jugular veins;
  • brain;
  • gadolinium

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE

Multiple sclerosis (MS) has been associated with chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency. We aim to evaluate the correlation between extracranial veins stenosis evaluated with MR venography (MRV) and clinical/MR parameters of MS.

METHODS

In 29 consecutive MS patients we performed a standard brain MRI protocol, completed by the evaluation of extra-cerebral venous system using a phase-contrast and a Volumetric Interpolated Breath Hold Examination (VIBE) sequence before and after gadolinium. The T2-proton density images were used to calculate the lesion volume. The jugular veins were evaluated qualitatively (in terms of presence and severity of stenoses) and quantitatively (degree of stenosis). The phase-contrast images were analyzed to calculate the average and peak velocity in the internal jugular veins.

RESULTS

Postcontrast VIBE successfully showed the jugular veins in all the subjects. T2-lesion-volume was 8.2 [4.6] cm3. A stenosis of the internal jugular veins > of 50% was observed in 10/29(33%) patients. No significant correlation was observed between T2-lesion-volume and degree-of-stenosis (r = .362, P = .302). No different flow parameters were found in the subgroups of patients with and without stenosis (P = .54).

CONCLUSIONS

In MS the presence/severity of jugular vein stenosis identified with 3T-MRV is not related to MR-visible tissue damage. Moreover no abnormal flow parameters were found in stenosed veins.