A Brain Region-Based Deep Medullary Veins Visual Score on Susceptibility Weighted Imaging

Front Aging Neurosci. 2017 Aug 8;9:269. doi: 10.3389/fnagi.2017.00269. eCollection 2017.


Cerebral venous collagenosis played a role in the pathogenesis of white matter hyperintensities (WMHs) through venous ischemia. Since pathological changes of veins from intramural stenosis to luminal occlusion is a dynamic process, we aimed to create a deep medullary veins (DMVs) visual grade on susceptibility-weighted images (SWI) and explore the relationship of DMVs and WMHs based on venous drainage regions. We reviewed clinical, laboratory and imaging data from 268 consecutive WMHs patients and 20 controls. SWI images were used to observe characteristics of DMVs and a brain region-based DMVs visual score was given by two experienced neuroradiologists. Fluid attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) images were used to calculate WMHs volume. Logistic-regression analysis and partial Pearson's correlation analysis were used to examine the association between the DMVs score and WMHs volume. We found that the DMVs score was significantly higher in WMHs patients than in controls (p < 0.001). Increased DMVs score was independently associated with higher WMHs volume after adjusting for total cholesterol level and number of lacunes (p < 0.001). Particularly, DMVs scores were correlated with regional PVHs volumes in the same brain region most. The newly proposed DMVs grading method allows the clinician to monitor the course of DMVs disruption. Our findings of cerebral venous insufficiency in WMHs patients may help to elucidate the pathogenic mechanisms and progression of WMHs.

Keywords: deep medullary veins; susceptibility-weighted images; venous drainage regions; venous ischemia; white matter hyperintensities.