MR venography in children and adolescents with multiple sclerosis does not show increased prevalence of extracranial veins anomalies

Eur J Paediatr Neurol. 2014 Mar;18(2):218-22. doi: 10.1016/j.ejpn.2013.11.013. Epub 2013 Dec 25.


Background: Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic demyelinating disease of the central nervous system that affects mainly young adults, but can occur also in children and adolescents. The pathogenesis of MS is still not fully understood and chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI) was suggested to be implicated in MS. Although there is no strong evidence to support this hypothesis, a considerable number of MS patients, including adolescents, have undergone endovascular treatment procedures. The aim of this study was the evaluate the prevalence of extracranial venous system anomalies in children and adolescents with multiple sclerosis in comparison to age-matched controls.

Material and methods: Twenty-one children with clinically definite diagnosis of MS (mean age 13.8 years), and 19 age-matched controls (mean age 12.5 years) were investigated using 1.5 T scanner with coronal 3D contrast-enhanced coronal venography. The diameters of internal jugular veins (IJV) at both sides of the neck were estimated separately, from the level C1 to Th1.

Results: Anomalies of the extracranial venous system were found in 10 MS patients (47.6%) and 13 controls (68.4%). Normal anatomy of extracranial veins was recognized in 11 MS patients (53%) and 6 controls (31%). Comparison of the measurement results for MS patients and the control group revealed that there are no significant statistical differences in cross-section areas for a given level.

Conclusions: We found no evidence to suggest that MS children and adolescents have more extracranial veins anomalies than healthy patients. Considering the risk of such treatment, endovascular interventions should be discourage.

Keywords: Children; Chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency; MR venography; Magnetic resonance imaging; Multiple sclerosis.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Multiple Sclerosis, Relapsing-Remitting / pathology*
  • Phlebography
  • Prevalence
  • Veins / abnormalities*
  • Venous Insufficiency / epidemiology