, or enlarged perivascular spaces (EPVS) are spaces (often only potential) that surround blood vessels
for a short distance as they enter the brain
. Their wall is formed by prolongations of the pia mater
They contain macrophages
and have been suggested to be the site of entry for these cells of the immune system to the CSF.
The spaces function as pathways for the drainage of interstitial fluid, are in direct connection with the subpial space, separated by a single layer of pia mater from the subarachnoid space and are in communication with lymphatic channels of the head and neck, leading to cervical lymph nodes.
Virchow-Robin spaces appear as punctate or linear hyperintensities
, isodense with cerebrovascular fluid on T2-weighted images, in the centrum semiovale
, basal ganglia
, and the hippocampus
While in some people they may be both numerous and widespread throughout the brain and like white matter lesions, Virchow-Robin spaces are not usually present in the brains of healthy young adults. The presence of Virchow-Robin has been associated with multiple diseases.
This space is involved in Perivascular Cuffing seen in meningoencephalitis & encephalitis where there are infiltrates of mononuclear cells.
Virchow-Robin spaces are also called His' perivascular spaces and perivascular spaces. They are named after Rudolf Virchow
and Charles-Philippe Robin
(French anatomist, 1821–1885).