Post-mortem correlates of Virchow-Robin spaces detected on in vivo MRI

Lukas Haider, Simon Hametner, Verena Endmayr, Stephanie Mangesius, Andrea Eppensteiner, Josa M. Frischer, Juan Eugenio Iglesias, Frederik Barkhof, Gregor Kasprian

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3 Citations (Scopus)


The purpose of our study is to quantify the extent to which Virchow-Robin spaces (VRS) detected on in vivo MRI are reproducible by post-mortem MRI. Double Echo Steady State 3T MRIs were acquired post-mortem in 49 double- and 32 single-hemispheric formalin-fixed brain sections from 12 patients, who underwent conventional diagnostic 1.5 or 3T MRI in median 22 days prior to death (25% to 75%: 12 to 134 days). The overlap of in vivo and post-mortem VRS segmentations was determined accounting for potential confounding factors. The reproducibility of VRS found on in vivo MRI by post-mortem MRI, in the supratentorial white matter was in median 80% (25% to 75%: 60 to 100). A lower reproducibility was present in the basal ganglia, with a median of 47% (25% to 75%: 30 to 50). VRS segmentations were histologically confirmed in one double hemispheric section. Overall, the majority of VRS found on in vivo MRI was stable throughout death and formalin fixation, emphasizing the translational potential of post-mortem VRS studies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1224-1235
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of cerebral blood flow and metabolism
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2022


  • Glymphatic system
  • Virchow-Robin spaces
  • histology
  • in vivo MRI
  • post-mortem MRI

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