CCSVI and MS: no meaning, no fact
ABSTRACT A condition called "chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency" (CCSVI) has been postulated to play a role in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS). This hypothesis implies that a complex pattern of extracranial venous stenosis determines a venous reflux into the brain of MS patients, followed by increased intravenous pressure, blood-brain barrier breakdown and iron deposition into the brain parenchyma, thus triggering a local inflammatory response. In this review, we critically analyze the scientific basis of CCSVI, the current literature on the relationship between CCSVI and MS, as well as the ultrasound methodology that has been claimed to provide evidence of impaired cerebral venous drainage. We show that no piece of the CCSVI theory has a solid supportive scientific evidence. The CCSVI appears to be a rather alien condition and its existence should be definitely questioned. Finally, no proven (i.e., based on strict scientific methodology and on the rules of evidence-based medicine) therapeutic effect of the "liberation" procedure (unblocking the extracranial venous obstruction using angioplasty) has been shown up to date.
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ABSTRACT: To investigate cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) dynamics in the aqueduct of Sylvius (AoS) in chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI)-positive and -negative healthy individuals using cine phase contrast imaging. Fifty-one healthy individuals (32 CCSVI-negative and 19 age-matched CCSVI-positive subjects) were examined using Doppler sonography (DS). Diagnosis of CCSVI was established if subjects fulfilled ≥2 venous hemodynamic criteria on DS. CSF flow and velocity measures were quantified using a semiautomated method and compared with clinical and routine 3T MRI outcomes. CCSVI was associated with increased CSF pulsatility in the AoS. Net positive CSF flow was 32% greater in the CCSVI-positive group compared with the CCSVI-negative group (P = 0.008). This was accompanied by a 28% increase in the mean aqueductal characteristic signal (ie, the AoS cross-sectional area over the cardiac cycle) in the CCSVI-positive group compared with the CCSVI-negative group (P = 0.021). CSF dynamics are altered in CCSVI-positive healthy individuals, as demonstrated by increased pulsatility. This is accompanied by enlargement of the AoS, suggesting that structural changes may be occurring in the brain parenchyma of CCSVI-positive healthy individuals.J. Magn. Reson. Imaging 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.Journal of Magnetic Resonance Imaging 11/2014; 40(5). DOI:10.1002/jmri.24468 · 2.79 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Although iron is known to be essential for the normal development and health of the central nervous system, abnormal iron deposits are found in and around multiple sclerosis (MS) lesions that themselves are closely associated with the cerebral vasculature. However, the origin of this excess iron is unknown, and it is not clear whether this is one of the primary causative events in the pathogenesis of MS, or simply another consequence of the long-lasting inflammatory conditions. Here, applying a systems biology approach, we propose an additional way for understanding the neurodegenerative component of the disease caused by chronic subclinical extravasation of hemoglobin, in combination with multiple other factors including, but not limited to, dysfunction of different cellular protective mechanisms against extracellular hemoglobin reactivity and oxidative stress. Moreover, such considerations could also shed light on and explain the higher susceptibility of MS patients to a wide range of cardiovascular disorders.Cellular and Molecular Life Sciences CMLS 02/2014; DOI:10.1007/s00018-014-1570-y · 5.86 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The role of the extracranial venous system in the pathology of central nervous system (CNS) disorders and aging is largely unknown. It is acknowledged that the development of the venous system is subject to many variations and that these variations do not necessarily represent pathological findings. The idea has been changing with regards to the extracranial venous system. A range of extracranial venous abnormalities have recently been reported, which could be classified as structural/morphological, hemodynamic/functional and those determined only by the composite criteria and use of multimodal imaging. The presence of these abnormalities usually disrupts normal blood flow and is associated with the development of prominent collateral circulation. The etiology of these abnormalities may be related to embryologic developmental arrest, aging or other comorbidities. Several CNS disorders have been linked to the presence and severity of jugular venous reflux. Another composite criteria-based vascular condition named chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI) was recently introduced. CCSVI is characterized by abnormalities of the main extracranial cerebrospinal venous outflow routes that may interfere with normal venous outflow. Additional research is needed to better define the role of the extracranial venous system in relation to CNS disorders and aging. The use of endovascular treatment for the correction of these extracranial venous abnormalities should be discouraged, until potential benefit is demonstrated in properly-designed, blinded, randomized and controlled clinical trials.Please see related editorial: http://www.biomedcentral.com/1741-7015/11/259.BMC Medicine 12/2013; 11(1):260. DOI:10.1186/1741-7015-11-260 · 7.28 Impact Factor