Deep Venous Remodeling in Unilateral Sturge-Weber Syndrome: Robust Hemispheric Differences and Clinical Correlates

Csaba Juhász, Aimee F. Luat, Michael E. Behen, Nore Gjolaj, Jeong Won Jeong, Harry T. Chugani, Ajay Kumar

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Enlarged deep medullary veins (EDMVs) in patients with Sturge-Weber syndrome (SWS) may provide compensatory venous drainage for brain regions affected by the leptomeningeal venous malformation (LVM). We evaluated the prevalence, extent, hemispheric differences, and clinical correlates of EDMVs in SWS. Methods: Fifty children (median age: 4.5 years) with unilateral SWS underwent brain magnetic resonance imaging prospectively including susceptibility-weighted imaging (SWI); children aged 2.5 years or older also had a formal neurocognitive evaluation. The extent of EDMVs was assessed on SWI by using an EDMV hemispheric score, which was compared between patients with right and left SWS and correlated with clinical variables. Results: EDMVs were present in 89% (24 of 27) of right and 78% (18 of 23) of left SWS brains. Extensive EDMVs (score >6) were more frequent in right (33%) than in left SWS (9%; P = 0.046) and commonly occurred in young children with right SWS. Patients with EDMV scores >4 had rare (less than monthly) seizures, whereas 35% (11 of 31) of patients with EDMV scores ≤4 had monthly or more frequent seizures (P = 0.003). In patients with right SWS and at least two LVM-affected lobes, higher EDMV scores were associated with higher intelligence quotient (P < 0.05). Conclusions: Enlarged deep medullary veins are common in unilateral SWS, but extensive EDMVs appear to develop more commonly and earlier in right hemispheric SWS. Deep venous remodeling may be a compensatory mechanism contributing to better clinical outcomes in some patients with SWS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-58
Number of pages10
JournalPediatric Neurology
StatePublished - Feb 2023


  • Cerebral veins
  • Cognitive functions
  • Magnetic resonance imaging
  • Remodeling
  • Seizures
  • Sturge-Weber syndrome


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