Debunking the “Link” Between MS and CCVI
In 2009, an Italian doctor named Paolo Zamboni postulated that a condition he dubbed “chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency” (CCVI) is a cause of multiple sclerosis (MS).
CCVI refers to compromised blood flow in the veins that drain the central nervous system.
However, no one has been able replicate Zamboni’s findings. Also, he invented a procedure he called “liberation therapy” using angioplasty or stenting to improve blood flow, but the United States Food and Drug Administration released a statement on May 10th 2012 saying: “The FDA is alerting people with MS to the risks of serious injuries and death associated with procedures to treat chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI). Furthermore, the benefits of these experimental procedures have not been proven, and their promotion as a treatment for MS may lead people with the disease to make treatment decisions without being aware of the serious risks involved.”
Now research done at the University of Calgary in Alberta, Canada and published in June 2014 CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) found that there appears to be no link between chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency and multiple sclerosis. A release from the publisher explains that the team used ultrasound technology and magnetic resonance venography to explore the validity of the theory that chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency and MS are linked. They enrolled 120 patients with MS and 60 healthy controls. A high percentage of patients (58%) and controls (63%) met one or more proposed ultrasound criteria that would help diagnose chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency although there were no differences seen between groups.
Dr. Fiona Costello and coauthors wrote: “We detected no link between chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency and multiple sclerosis. . . 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.”