Low incidence of venous insufficiency in MS

March 7, 2013

Results of a study using several imaging methods showed that CCSVI (chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency) occurs at a low rate in both people with multiple sclerosis (MS) and non-MS volunteers, contrary to some previous studies. The research by an interdisciplinary team at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) was published in a recent early online edition of the Annals of Neurology.

"Our results in this phase of the study suggest that findings in the major veins that drain the brain consistent with CCSVI are uncommon in individuals with MS and quite similar to those found in our non-MS volunteers," said Jerry Wolinsky, M.D., principal investigator and the Bartels Family and Opal C. Rankin Professor of Neurology at The UTHealth Medical School. "This makes it very unlikely that CCSVI could be the cause of MS, or contribute in an important manner to how the disease can worsen over time." Wolinsky is also a member of the faculty of The University of Texas Graduate School of at Houston and director of the UTHealth Group.

CCSVI has been described by Italian Paolo Zamboni, M.D., as a new disorder in which veins draining the central nervous system are abnormal. Zamboni's published research linked CCSVI to MS. Not all researchers have been able to duplicate his results.

UTHealth was one of three institutions in the United States to receive an initial grant to study CCSVI in multiple sclerosis (MS). The grant was part of a $2.3 million joint commitment from the National MS Society and the MS Society of Canada.

The UTHealth team tested several imaging methods including ultrasound, with an intravenous contrast agent, and direct radiologic investigation of the major veins by direct injection of veins with radio-opaque contrast. The goal was to validate a consistent, reliable diagnostic approach for CCSVI, determine whether CCSVI was specific to MS and if CCSVI contributed to disease activity.

The team was blinded to the participant's diagnosis throughout the study. Doppler ultrasound was used to investigate venous drainage in 276 people with and without MS. Using the criteria described by Zamboni for the diagnosis of CCVSI, UTHealth researchers found less prevalence of CCVSI than in some previous studies and no statistical difference between those with MS and those without MS. Detailed experience with the other imaging approaches are being readied for publication.

Multiple sclerosis is an unpredictable, often disabling disease of the , interrupting the flow of information within the brain and from the brain to the body. It affects more than 400,000 people in the United States and 2.1 million in the world.

Explore further: MRI findings shed light on multiple sclerosis

Related Stories

MRI findings shed light on multiple sclerosis

August 21, 2012
New magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) research shows that changes in brain blood flow associated with vein abnormalities are not specific for multiple sclerosis (MS) and do not contribute to its severity, despite what some ...

FDA issues warning on controversial MS treatment

May 10, 2012
(HealthDay) -- Doctors and patients need to be aware of the potential risk of injuries and death associated with an experimental treatment for multiple sclerosis called liberation therapy, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration ...

Some link between CCSVI and MS but quality of evidence prevents definitive conclusion

October 3, 2011
Chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI) appears to be more common in people with multiple sclerosis than in people without the condition, states a review of published studies in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association ...

Higher CCSVI prevalence confirmed in MS, but meaning of findings remains unclear

April 13, 2011
A just released study on the relationship between multiple sclerosis (MS) and chronic cerebral venous insufficiency (CCSVI), a narrowing of the extracranial veins that restricts the normal outflow of blood from the brain, ...

Risk factors for CCSVI are similar to risk factors for developing MS, study shows

November 30, 2011
The first study to investigate risk factors for the vascular condition called CCSVI (chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency) in volunteers without neurological disease has identified what the researchers call a remarkable ...

Recommended for you

Cognitive cross-training enhances learning, study finds

July 25, 2017
Just as athletes cross-train to improve physical skills, those wanting to enhance cognitive skills can benefit from multiple ways of exercising the brain, according to a comprehensive new study from University of Illinois ...

Brain disease seen in most football players in large report

July 25, 2017
Research on 202 former football players found evidence of a brain disease linked to repeated head blows in nearly all of them, from athletes in the National Football League, college and even high school.

Zebrafish study reveals clues to healing spinal cord injuries

July 25, 2017
Fresh insights into how zebrafish repair their nerve connections could hold clues to new therapies for people with spinal cord injuries.

Lutein may counter cognitive aging, study finds

July 25, 2017
Spinach and kale are favorites of those looking to stay physically fit, but they also could keep consumers cognitively fit, according to a new study from University of Illinois researchers.

Brain stimulation may improve cognitive performance in people with schizophrenia

July 24, 2017
Brain stimulation could be used to treat cognitive deficits frequently associated with schizophrenia, according to a new study from King's College London.

New map may lead to drug development for complex brain disorders, researcher says

July 24, 2017
Just as parents are not the root of all their children's problems, a single gene mutation can't be blamed for complex brain disorders like autism, according to a Keck School of Medicine of USC neuroscientist.

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.