Researchers report that performing angioplasty (a treatment that involves temporarily inserting and blowing up a tiny balloon inside a clogged artery to help widen it) on veins in the neck and chest is safeand may be an effective way to treat the venous abnormalities found in those with multiple sclerosis and provide symptom relief. The findings were presented at the Society of Interventional Radiology's 37th Annual Scientific Meeting in San Francisco, Calif.
"Our results are important because there are an estimated 400,000 individuals affected by multiple sclerosis in the United States, some of whom experience symptoms that limit their quality of life in several ways. For many, it can be quite debilitating," explained Hector Ferral, M.D., an interventional radiologist at NorthShore University HealthSystem in Evanston, Ill. "These early results show that performing angioplasty on azygos and jugular vein lesions may have a positive impact on the symptoms of those individuals with MS and also could be an effective palliative treatment geared toward improving their quality of life," added Ferral, the study's lead investigator.
"Our experience showed that 95 percent of the individuals we evaluated had venous obstructions, supporting the concept that venous lesions are common in individuals with multiple sclerosis," said Ferral. "Based on follow-up that included ultrasound one week post procedure and clinic visits every three months, our results showed that people who have this treatment are not exposed to fatal risks. It is our belief that portraying venous angioplasty of the azygos and jugular veins as a high-risk procedure is a widespread misconception that needs to be addressed and corrected," he noted. "In addition to these significant safety findings, we noted that angioplasty provided symptomatic benefit in 55 percent of the individuals we treated," said Ferral.
MS is classified as primary progressive, which means a gradually pro
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Society of Interventional Radiology