THURSDAY, Aug. 23 (HealthDay News) -- Changes in brain blood flow associated with chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI) are not specific for multiple sclerosis (MS) and do not correlate with its severity, according to a study published online Aug. 21 in Radiology.
Francesco G. Garaci, M.D., from the University of Rome Tor Vergata, and colleagues examined the involvement of CCSVI in the pathophysiology of MS. CCSVI was diagnosed using specific color Doppler ultrasonographic criteria. Dynamic susceptibility contrast material-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was used in normal-appearing white matter (NAWM) in 39 patients with MS to measure cerebral blood volume (CBV), cerebral blood flow (CBF), and mean transit time. Twenty-six healthy controls were also evaluated.
The researchers found that 25 patients with MS and 14 controls had CCSVI. Cerebral hemodynamic anomalies, such as decreased CBF and CBV, were seen in individuals with CCSVI as compared with individuals without CCSVI, without any delay in mean transit time. There were no significant interactions between MS and CCSVI for any hemodynamic parameters and no correlations between CBV and CBF values in NAWM or for severity of disability in patients with MS. There was prolonged mean transit time in the periventricular NAWM in the MS group, compared with the control group, and a positive correlation between mean transit time values and disability scales in patients with MS.
"This study clearly demonstrates the important role of MRI in defining and understanding the causes of MS," a coauthor said in a statement. "I believe that, in the future, it will be necessary to use powerful and advanced diagnostic tools to obtain a better understanding of this and other diseases still under study."
Two authors disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical industry.
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