There appears to be no
link between chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency and multiple sclerosis
(MS), in the findings of a new research published in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal).
Multiple Sclerosis Symptoms
is a central nervous system disease in which the immune
system destroys the protective sheath covering the nerves. This causes a
communication disturbance between the brain, spinal cord, and the other body
parts. Gradually, the whole nervous system becomes dysfunctional. This disease
has no cure. Managing the patient and reducing the symptoms is the only option.
Symptoms of multiple
sclerosis vary and may include:
and becoming easily tired •
and tingling of legs and
/or arms, dizziness •
Problems with balance and walking, slurred speech •
Blurring of vision •
Sensation of electric shocks when moving the head
The symptoms may come
and go in the early stages of the disease. Secondly, even slightest increase in
body temperature can worsen the symptoms.
What is CCSVI?
Chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency or CCSVI is a
condition in which the blood flow in the veins that drain the central nervous
It is easy to see now the connection between CCVI and
multiple sclerosis, since both of them have to do with malfunction of the
central nervous system. The obstruction in CCSVI causes the blood flow to the
heart slow down and blood may reflux back toward the brain
Paolo Zamboni, a vascular surgeon from the University of Ferrara, Italy, found
a link between pressure in the veins, iron deposition, and ulceration in venous
disease of the legs. He applied the same
theory to multiple sclerosis. His research showed that venous abnormalities are
linked with multiple sclerosis because the veins responsible for blood
flow out of the brain and spinal cord of patients with multiple sclerosis were
abnormally narrowed or even blocked in some places.
Diagnostic criteria of CCSVI as proposed by Dr. Zamboni
According to Dr.
Zamboni, diagnosis of CCSVI is based on the presence of at least two of the
following five indicators:
Blood reflux in internal jugular vein (IJV), vertebral veins, or both, with
head in any position •
Blood reflux in deep cerebral veins •
Stenosis (abnormal narrowing of the veins) in IJV •
Flow not detected by Doppler in IJV or vertebral veins •
When the IJV looks wider in a sitting position than when lying on the back.
This indicates abnormal venous blood drainage in sitting position
Contradictory research findings
and multiple sclerosis is a much researched area. Not all studies agree with
Dr. Zamboni's theory. To the confusion of the scientific community, some
studies find absolutely no evidence of CCSVI in people with MS, while others
reveal that CCSVI is a real entity and can cause MS in some way.
The present research
found no link between CCSVI and MS.
'We detected no link
between chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency and multiple sclerosis,'
reported lead author of the study Dr. Fiona Costello from the department
of Clinical Neurosciences and Surgery, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta.
researchers also challenged Dr. Zamboni's diagnostic criteria of CCSVI. For
example they found that no patient with MS had more than one of the criteria
set by Dr. Zamboni. Similarly, they did not agree with the phenomenon
characterized as 'reflux' and cited their own theory regarding the
'We also identified
several methodologic concerns that challenge the validity of the criteria used
to define chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency, and in turn we dispute
the authenticity of this diagnosis,' she said.