L'Insufficienza Venosa Cronica Cerebro Spinale nella Sclerosi Multipla


Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS), also known as disseminated sclerosis, is a chronic inflammatory demyelinating disorder that attacks the central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord). The wide range of symptoms associated with this autoimmune disease is a result of the progressive loss of the myelin sheath, and this is why the term demyelinating (or myelinoclastic) is used to describe the condition.

CCSVI (Chronic Cerebro-Spinal Venous Insufficiency)

Chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI) is a hemodynamic disorder characterized by abnormal blood flow in the extracranial veins responsible for blood drainage from the central nervous system. It has long been demonstrated that the anatomical and pathological distribution of multiple sclerosis lesions is venocentric. The venous abnormalities that compromise the flow of blood from the brain and spinal cord can be very different in nature and include such pathologies as occlusion, stenosis, septa, inverted valves and malformations.

Whatever the pathology, chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency causes cerebral venous hypertension. To date, it is believed that most of the abnormalities are congenital, though lesions have also been found to occur in post-traumatic, post-thrombotic and post-actinic cases.


Thanks to recent studies conducted by Prof. P. Zamboni and his team at the Centre for Vascular Diseases of the University of Ferrara, a symptomatology for the disorder has been identified that is instrumental in the study of cerebral veins via non-invasive echo colour Doppler sonography. This exam differs from other commonly-used ones in that it analyzes the veins of the patient both in a supine and seated position.

Endovascular treatment

Commonly referred to as endovascular treatment, this procedure has already been fully tested, and it requires no prolonged hospitalization, scalpels or general anaesthesia. A collapsed balloon catheter is inserted endovenously and guided by a radiologist through the veins of the patient. When it reaches the blocked vein, the balloon catheter is inflated, thereby expanding the narrowed areas.

The findings of the Centre for Vascular Diseases at the University of Ferrara demonstrate that improved cerebral venous circulation reduces the number of relapses and active lesions, thus improving the patient’s quality of life. In patients with a progressive form of the disease, its advancement can be blocked or slowed down considerably. Numerous studies are currently being conducted worldwide to verify these results. It should be mentioned that one part of the scientific community is still sceptical regarding the actual benefits of this form of treatment. This, however, in no way invalidates the importance – in certain cases – of implementing a non-invasive diagnostic exam as the initial step in various innovative approaches to the treatment of multiple sclerosis.

Further information and appointment scheduling

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