Five-Year Longitudinal Study of Neck Vessel Cross-Sectional Area in Multiple Sclerosis

AJNR Am J Neuroradiol. 2018 Sep;39(9):1703-1709. doi: 10.3174/ajnr.A5738. Epub 2018 Jul 26.


Background and purpose: Alterations of neck vessel cross-sectional area in multiple sclerosis have been reported. Our aim was to investigate the evolution of the neck vessel cross-sectional area in patients with MS and healthy controls during 5 years.

Materials and methods: Sixty-nine patients with MS (44 relapsing-remitting MS, 25 progressive MS) and 22 age- and sex-matched healthy controls were examined twice, 5 years apart, on a 3T MR imaging scanner using 2D neck MR angiography. Cross-sectional areas were computed for the common carotid/internal carotid arteries, vertebral arteries, and internal jugular veins for all slices between the C3 and C7 cervical levels. Longitudinal cross-sectional area differences at each cervical level and the whole-vessel course were tested within study groups and between patients with MS with and without cardiovascular disease using mixed-model analysis and the related-samples Wilcoxon singed rank test. The Benjamini-Hochberg procedure was performed to correct for multiple comparisons.

Results: No significant cross-sectional area differences were seen between patients with MS and healthy controls at baseline or at follow-up. During the follow-up, significant cross-sectional area decrease was found in patients with MS for the common carotid artery-ICAs (C4: P = .048; C7: P = .005; whole vessel: P = .012), for vertebral arteries (C3: P = .028; C4: P = .028; C7: P = .028; whole vessel: P = .012), and for the internal jugular veins (C3: P = .014; C4: P = .008; C5: P = .010; C6: P = .010; C7: P = .008; whole vessel: P = .002). Patients with MS without cardiovascular disease had significantly greater change than patients with MS with cardiovascular disease for internal jugular veins at all levels.

Conclusions: For 5 years, patients with MS showed significant cross-sectional area decrease of all major neck vessels, regardless of the disease course and cardiovascular status.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Angiography
  • Carotid Arteries / diagnostic imaging
  • Carotid Arteries / pathology*
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Jugular Veins / diagnostic imaging
  • Jugular Veins / pathology*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Multiple Sclerosis / diagnostic imaging
  • Multiple Sclerosis / pathology*
  • Neck / blood supply
  • Neck / diagnostic imaging
  • Vertebral Artery / diagnostic imaging
  • Vertebral Artery / pathology*