Multiparametric MRI Evaluation of Developmental Venous Anomalies in the Brain: Association with Signal Changes on FLAIR in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis

Curr Med Imaging. 2020;16(7):928-935. doi: 10.2174/1573405616666200516172759.


Background: Developmental venous anomalies (DVAs) can be determined on magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and they may be associated with multiple sclerosis (MS) lesions.

Purpose: The objective was to evaluate the MRI findings of DVAs in the brain, to compare the prevalence of them between MS patients and control subjects, and to investigate the correlation of DVA-associated fluid-attenuated inversion recovery (FLAIR) hyperintensities and MRI-derived parameters between MS patients and control subjects having DVA.

Methods: Total 160 patients with a mean age of 45 ± 16 years who underwent multiparametric MRI including susceptibility-weighted imaging (SWI), diffusion-weighted imaging, 3D FLAIR, and contrast-enhanced imaging were included in this retrospective study. First, the presence of DVA was compared between the MS and control groups using the Chi-square test. Then, among the subjects having DVA, age, gender, and MRI-derived parameters such as the signal increase of DVA on FLAIR, location, and drainage of DVA were compared between the MS and control groups using Chi-square test.

Results: The presence of DVA did not differ between the MS and control groups (P = 0.828). Signal increase around DVA on FLAIR (P = 0.03) and the age of less than 45 years demonstrated a significant correlation with MS group (P = 0.022).

Conclusion: In our study, DVAs were effectively detected using SWI and 3D contrast-enhanced T1-weighted imaging on MRI. The signal increase of DVA was better revealed on 3D FLAIR on MRI, and it was the only significant MRI-derived parameter in patients with MS.

Keywords: Developmental venous anomaly; FLAIR; fluid-attenuated inversion recovery; magnetic resonance imaging; multiple sclerosis; susceptibility-weighted imaging.