Virchow Robin Space: What Is It And Should You Be Concerned?

As medical research has advanced, our understanding of the human body has increased dramatically. One such advancement has been the discovery of the Virchow Robin Space (VRS), a fluid-filled area around blood vessels in the brain. While this space is present in most people and usually harmless, it can sometimes indicate underlying health concerns. In this article, we’ll explore everything you need to know about the Virchow Robin Space, including its symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options.

What is a Virchow Robin Space?

The Virchow Robin Space is a small area in the brain filled with cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). It’s named after the German physician Rudolf Virchow and the Scottish anatomist Charles Robin, who are credited with its discovery in the 19th century. The VRS is located between the pial and glial layers of the brain, the innermost layer of the protective membranes that surround the brain.

While the VRS is present in everyone, its size and prominence can vary. In some cases, the space can become enlarged, which can be a sign of underlying health conditions. This condition is known as prominent Virchow Robin Space.

What are the symptoms of prominent Virchow Robin Space?

Prominent Virchow Robin Space is usually asymptomatic, meaning that it doesn’t cause any noticeable symptoms. However, in some cases, people with prominent VRS may experience headaches, dizziness, or other neurological symptoms. These symptoms are often mild and can be attributed to other causes, making it difficult to diagnose prominent VRS on its own.

How is Virchow Robin Space diagnosed?

Diagnosing Virchow Robin Space typically involves imaging tests like MRI or CT scans to examine the brain for the presence of the space. On an MRI, an enlarged VRS will appear as a dark lesion adjacent to the blood vessels. A CT scan may also be used, but it is less sensitive than MRI in detecting VRS.

Is Virchow Robin Space dangerous?

In general, Virchow Robin Space is not considered to be dangerous. It is a natural part of the brain’s structure and is present in most people. However, in some cases, an enlarged VRS can be a sign of underlying health issues.

For example, studies have linked prominent VRS to cerebrovascular diseases like stroke and dementia. Additionally, some studies suggest that prominent VRS can be a sign of neuroinflammatory diseases like multiple sclerosis. However, it’s important to note that the link between prominent VRS and these conditions is still being studied, and more research is needed to confirm these associations.

Does everyone have Virchow Robin Space?

Yes, everyone has some degree of Virchow Robin Space. However, the size and prominence of the space can vary from person to person. In some cases, the space may not be visible on imaging tests at all.

How do you treat prominent Virchow Robin Space?

In general, prominent Virchow Robin Space does not require treatment. As mentioned earlier, it is usually asymptomatic and not considered dangerous. However, if an enlarged VRS is causing symptoms like headaches or dizziness, a doctor may recommend further testing and treatment to rule out other potential causes.

It’s important to remember that the presence of a prominent VRS does not necessarily indicate an underlying health issue. In many cases, an enlarged VRS is simply a normal variation of the brain’s structure.


Overall, the Virchow Robin Space is a fascinating area of the brain that is still being studied by medical experts. While it’s usually harmless, an enlarged VRS can sometimes be a sign of underlying health conditions. By understanding the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment options for prominent Virchow Robin Space, you can help ensure that you get the proper medical care if necessary. If you have any concerns about your brain health, don’t hesitate to talk to your doctor.