Buffalo Neuroimaging Analysis Center (BNAC), Department of Neurology, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, University at Buffalo, State University of New York
Decrease in secondary neck vessels in multiple sclerosis: A 5-year longitudinal magnetic resonance angiography study.
Studies have previously shown greater arterial and venous extracranial vascular changes in persons with multiple sclerosis (PwMS) when compared to healthy controls (HCs).
To determine the change in number and size of secondary neck vessels in PwMS and HCs over a 5-year follow-up period.
Both at baseline and follow-up, 83 PwMS and 25 HCs underwent magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) imaging and analysis. The number and cross-sectional area (CSA) of all secondary neck vessels (excluding the common/internal carotid, vertebral artery, and internal jugular vein) measured at levels from C2-T1 were determined by semi-automated edge detection/contouring software. The longitudinal change in number and CSA of the secondary neck vessels from the PwMS and HCs were analyzed by non-parametric Wilcoxon repeated measure. Benjamini-Hochberg procedure adjusted for false discovery rate (FDR).
Over 5 years, PwMS demonstrated a consistent longitudinal decrease in both the number of secondary neck vessels (Z-change between -3.3 and -5.4, q=0.001) and their CSA (Z-change between -2.9 and -5.2, q=0.004). On the contrary, the HCs did not demonstrate significant longitudinal change in secondary neck vessels over the follow-up period. Due to the longitudinal decrease, the PwMS showed lower number of secondary neck vessels when compared to HCs measured at follow-up (p<0.029, except for C4 with trending p=0.071). The PwMS changes were also corroborated within each MS phenotype.
PwMS demonstrate a significant mid-term decrease in the number and the size of the secondary neck vessels. The clinical relevance of these findings and its effect on intracranial blood flow are currently unknown.
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