It has been recently demonstrated that the internal jugular vein may exhibit abnormalities classified as truncular venous malformations (TVMs). The investigation of possible morphological and biochemical anomalies at jugular tissue level could help to better understand the link between brain venous drainage and neurodegenerative disorders, recently found associated with jugular TVMs. To this end we performed sequential X-ray Fluorescence (XRF) analyses on jugular tissue samples from two TVM patients and two control subjects, using complementary energies at three different synchrotrons. This investigation, coupled with conventional histological analyses, revealed anomalous micro-formations in the pathological tissues and allowed the determination of their elemental composition. Rapid XRF analyses on large tissue areas at 12.74 keV showed an increased Ca presence in the pathological samples, mainly localized in tunica adventitia microvessels. Investigations at lower energy demonstrated that the high Ca level corresponded to micro-calcifications, also containing P and Mg. We suggest that advanced synchrotron XRF micro-spectroscopy is an important analytical tool in revealing biochemical changes, which cannot be accessed by conventional investigations. Further research on a larger number of samples is needed to understand the pathogenic significance of Ca micro-depositions detected on the intramural vessels of vein walls affected by TVMs.
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