- Japanese Society for Magnetic Resonance in Medicine
- Magnetic Resonance in Medical Sciences (ISSN:13473182)
- pp.rev.2020-0122, (Released:2020-11-27)
The central nervous system (CNS) was previously thought to be the only organ system lacking lymphatic vessels to remove waste products from the interstitial space. Recently, based on the results from animal experiments, the glymphatic system was hypothesized. In this hypothesis, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) enters the periarterial spaces, enters the interstitial space of the brain parenchyma via aquaporin-4 (AQP4) channels in the astrocyte end feet, and then exits through the perivenous space, thereby clearing waste products. From the perivenous space, the interstitial fluid drains into the subarachnoid space and meningeal lymphatics of the parasagittal dura. It has been reported that the glymphatic system is particularly active during sleep. Impairment of glymphatic system function might be a cause of various neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s disease, normal pressure hydrocephalus, glaucoma, and others. Meningeal lymphatics regulate immunity in the CNS. Many researchers have attempted to visualize the function and structure of the glymphatic system and meningeal lymphatics in vivo using MR imaging. In this review, we aim to summarize these in vivo MR imaging studies and discuss the significance, current limitations, and future directions. We also discuss the significance of the perivenous cyst formation along the superior sagittal sinus, which is recently discovered in the downstream of the glymphatic system.