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April 13, 2020

Visualization of the Human Intracranial Vasa Vasorum In Vivo Using Optical Coherence Tomography

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Neurosurgery, Xuanwu Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, China
  • 2Division of Neuroradiology, Toronto Western Hospital, Department of Medical Imaging, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
JAMA Neurol. 2020;77(7):903-905. doi:10.1001/jamaneurol.2020.0546

The vasa vasorum are a specialized microvasculature that mainly arise from the adventitia and traverse the intimomedial layer of large arteries and veins. These are felt to serve as crucial routes of the delivery for trophic and nutritive factors, as well as regulatory signals.1 Importantly, they also play a role in pathology via proliferation in atherosclerotic and hypertrophic intimomedia, as well as plaque hemorrhage and dissection via rupture.2 In the setting of symptomatic vertebral artery stenosis, we report what is, to our knowledge, the first known in vivo visualization of the human native intracranial arterial vasa vasorum and intraplaque neovasculature using optimal coherence tomography (OCT).

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