Intracranial vasa vasorum: insights and implications for imaging

Radiology. 2013 Jun;267(3):667-79. doi: 10.1148/radiol.13112310.


This review offers insight into the possible role of vasa vasorum in the development of intracranial vascular disease. Unique structural features of intracranial vessels and nourishment from the surrounding cerebrospinal fluid environment may account for the relative lack of intracranial vasa vasorum early in life. However, with advancing age and with the development of vascular disease, vasa vasorum are known to develop. Advanced contrast material-enhanced imaging techniques are capable of helping detect and even grade intracranial vasa vasorum, and this may provide new insights into our ability to diagnose and assess the risk of intracranial vascular lesions such as atherosclerosis, aneurysms, dissections, and vasculitis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Cerebrovascular Disorders / pathology
  • Contrast Media
  • Diagnostic Imaging*
  • Disease Progression
  • Humans
  • Vasa Vasorum / pathology*


  • Contrast Media