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Tohoku J Exp Med. 2013 Jul;230(3):133-9.

Intracerebral hematoma extends via perivascular spaces and perineurium.

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Department of Neurology, Nanfang Hospital, Southern Medical University, Gaungzhou, P.R. China.


Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH) is a devastating disorder associated with high morbidity and mortality. ICH results in the formation of hematoma that affects not only the primary site of injury but also the remote regions. In fact, hematoma can extend via perivascular spaces (also called Virchow-Robin spaces, VRS) and perineurium in an animal model of ICH. In the present study, we used magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with susceptibility-weighted imaging (SWI) to investigate the characteristics of the perivascular and perineural extensions of hematomas in patients with ICH. A total of 20 ICH patients without secondary subarachnoid and secondary intraventricular hemorrhages were recruited. Brain MRI scans, including SWI, T1, and T2-weighted images, were performed between 17 h to 7 days after the onset of ICH. MRI with SWI revealed that paramagnetic substances spread along the VRS or the perineurium. Such distribution could cause the formation of cerebral microbleeds (CMBs). However, the distribution of remote hemorrhagic lesions varied, depending on the size and location of the original hematoma. The unenhanced CT scans of the 20 patients did not show any hyperdensity around the blood vessels and nerve tracts outside the hematoma. These results indicate the perivascular and perineural extensions of hematomas in patients with ICH, which is formed by the leakage of the original hematoma via the VRS or perineurium. We also provide a new explanation for the series of pathological processes involved in ICH, including the remote effects of hematoma and the formation of CMBs in patients with ICH.

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