Another article from an MS Foundation mailer:
Safety of Using Angioplasty to Widen VeinsSo, essentially, this is more ongoing research that is related to CCSVI. I wonder if they are considering angioplasty in areas other than the neck region, it is a little unclear. Glad to hear that they are researching this topic more - it seems as though it could be a real breakthrough for, at least, some MSers. I am a little curious and want to discuss getting the MRV to check to see whether I have any blockage in my veins, but I am a little unsure if it will be worth it to do so.
Angioplasty is a medical treatment used by interventional radiologists to widen the veins in the neck and chest to improve blood flow. Understanding that it is a safe procedure may encourage additional studies for its use as a treatment option for individuals with multiple sclerosis, said researchers at the recent Society of Interventional Radiology's 36th Annual Scientific Meeting in Chicago, Ill.
"Angioplasty – the nonsurgical procedure of threading a thin tube into a vein or artery to open blocked or narrowed blood vessels – is a safe treatment. Our study will provide researchers the confidence to study it as an MS treatment option for the future," said Kenneth Mandato, M.D., an interventional radiologist at Albany Medical Center in Albany, N.Y.
In a retrospective study, 231 people with MS (age range, 25 to 70 years old; 147 women, 84 men) underwent this endovascular treatment of the internal jugular and azygos veins with or without placement of a stent (a tiny mesh tube).
"Our results show that such treatment is safe when performed in the hospital or on an outpatient basis – with 97 percent treated without incident," Mandato noted. He added, "Our study, while not specifically evaluating the outcomes of this endovascular treatment, has shown that it can be safely performed, with only a minimal risk of significant complication. It is our hope that future prospective studies are performed to further assess the safety of this procedure."
Complications included abnormal heart rhythm in three patients and the immediate re-narrowing of treated veins in four patients. All but two of the patients were discharged within three hours of receiving this minimally invasive treatment.
In 2009, Paolo Zamboni, a doctor from Italy, published a study that suggested that a blockage in the veins that drain blood from the brain and spinal cord and return it to the heart (a condition called chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency or CCSVI) might contribute to MS and its symptoms. The idea is that if these veins were widened, blood flow may be improved, which may help lessen the severity of MS-related symptoms.
The Society of Interventional Radiology (SIR) issued a position statement last fall supporting high-quality clinical research to determine the safety and effectiveness of interventional MS treatments, recognizing that the role of CCSVI in MS and its endovascular treatment by an interventional radiologist via angioplasty and/or stents to open up veins could be transformative for people with MS.
SIR's position statement agrees with MS advocates, doctors and other caregivers that the use of any treatment (anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory, interventional or other) in people with MS should be based on an individualized assessment of disease status, his or her tolerance of previous therapies, the particular treatment's scientific plausibility, and the strength and methodological quality of its supporting clinical evidence.
More information about the Society of Interventional Radiology, interventional radiologists, and minimally invasive treatments can be found online at www.SIRweb.org.
Time to go spend some quality time with my husband and dog. Thanks for reading!