Virchow-Robin spaces

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Virchow-Robin spaces are spaces (often only potential) that surround blood vessels for a short distance as they enter the brain. Their wall is formed by prolongations of the pia mater. They contain macrophages and lymphocytes and have been suggested to be the site of entry for these cells of the immune system to the CSF.

The spaces function as pathways for the drainage of interstitial fluid, are in direct connection with the subpial space, separated by a single layer of pia mater from the subarachnoid space and are in communication with lymphatic channels of the head and neck, leading to cervical lymph nodes.

Virchow-Robin spaces are also called His' perivascular spaces and perivascular spaces. They are named after Rudolf Virchow and Charles-Philippe Robin (French anatomist, 1821–1885).

This space is involved in Perivascular Cuffing seen in Meningoencephalitis & Encephalitis where there are infiltrates of mononuclear cells.[1]


  1. Schneider & Szanto (2006). BRS Pathology (3rd Edition ed.). Lipincott Williams & Wilkins.