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MRI findings shed light on multiple sclerosis
Date:8/20/2012

OAK BROOK, Ill. New magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) research shows that changes in brain blood flow associated with vein abnormalities are not specific for multiple sclerosis (MS) and do not contribute to its severity, despite what some researchers have speculated. Results of the research are published online in the journal Radiology.

"MRI allowed an accurate evaluation of cerebral blood flow that was crucial for our results," said Simone Marziali, M.D., from the Department of Diagnostic Imaging at the University of Rome Tor Vergata in Rome.

MS is a disease of the central nervous system in which the body's immune system attacks the nerves. There are different types of MS, and symptoms and severity vary widely. Recent reports suggest a highly significant association between MS and chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI), a condition characterized by compromised blood flow in the veins that drain blood from the brain. This strong correlation has generated substantial attention from the scientific community and the media in recent years, raising the possibility that MS can be treated with endovascular procedures like stent placement. However, the role of brain blood flow alterations on MS patients is still unclear.

To investigate this further, Italian researchers compared brain blood flow in 39 MS patients and 26 healthy control participants. Twenty-five of the MS patients and 14 of the healthy controls were positive for CCSVI, based on Color-Doppler-Ultrasound (CDU) findings. The researchers used dynamic susceptibility contrast-enhanced (DSC) MRI to assess blood flow in the brains of the study groups. DSC MR imaging offers more accurate assessment of brain blood flow than that of CDU. MRI and CDU were used to assess two different anatomical structures.

While CCSVI-positive patients showed decreased cerebral blood flow and volume compared with their CCSVI-negative counterparts, there was no significant inte
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Contact: Linda Brooks
lbrooks@rsna.org
630-590-7762
Radiological Society of North America
Source:Eurekalert

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