This retrospective review examined results of 105 procedures performed in 94 individuals with MS (age range, 26-67 years old; 35 men, 59 women). This study's subgroups included 50 percent relapsing remitting, 39 percent secondary progressive, 6.4 percent primary progressive and 4.2 percent unknown. Jugular and azygos veins were evaluated with selective venography (imaging of veins after injection with a contrast dye) and intravascular ultrasound (a special imaging process that allows the physician to see from inside the blood vessels). Angioplasty was performed if the imaging confirmed reflux, a condition where valves become weak and don't close properly, allowing blood to flow backward, or a greater than 50 percent decrease in the vessel's diameter. If necessary, stents were then used to treat nonresponsive lesions or blockages. These individuals were given blood-thinning medications for six weeks after the treatment.
Ferral's team reported symptomatic improvement in 55 percent of the individuals treated, and 38 percent reported no improvement. Seven percent of patients did not comply with their follow-up visits and were considered to be lost to follow-up.
Close to 60 percent of those with relapsing remitting MS reported improvement in symptoms, the highest of all the subgroups in this study.
"These important results revealed that, for people with multiple sclerosis who experience debilitating symptoms, minimally invasive interventional radiology treatments can be an effective, palliative treatment that also may improve their quality of life," said Ferral.
"As interventional radiologists, our biggest challenge is to bring to the attention of other specialists, especially those p
|Contact: Ellen Acconcia|
Society of Interventional Radiology