FAIRFAX, Va.Recognizing that venous interventions may potentially play an important role in treating some patients who suffer from multiple sclerosisan incurable, disabling diseasethe Society of Interventional Radiology has issued a position statement indicating its support for high-quality clinical research to determine the safety and effectiveness of interventional M.S. treatments. SIR's position statement is endorsed by the Canadian Interventional Radiology Association and will be published in the September Journal of Vascular and Interventional Radiology.
"The Society of Interventional Radiology would like to be actively involved in developing evidence-based therapies for the potential treatment of patients with multiple sclerosis," said SIR President James F. Benenati, M.D., FSIR. "Completing high-quality studiesfor example, on chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI, a reported abnormality in blood drainage from the brain and spinal cord) and interventional M.S. treatmentsshould be a research priority for investigators, funding agencies and M.S. community advocates," added Benenati, who represents nearly 4,700 doctors, scientists and allied health professionals dedicated to improving health care through minimally invasive treatments.
About 500,000 people in the United States have M.S., and SIR understands the public's desire to advance treatment for M.S., generally thought of as an autoimmune disease in which a person's body attacks its own cells. Currently, medicines may slow the disease and help control symptoms. The role of CCSVI in M.S. and its endovascular treatment (through a catheter placed in a vein) by an interventional radiologist via balloon angioplasty and/or stents to open up veins "could be transformative for patients and is being actively investigated," said Benenati. "The idea that there may be a venous component to the etiology (or cause) of some symptoms in patients with M.S. is a radical departure from
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Society of Interventional Radiology