CCSVI - Chronic Cerebrospinal Venous Insufficiency The medical condition termed by Dr. Paulo Zamboni. A condition where deoxyginated bloodflow from the veins surrounding the brain and spine is slowed or blocked in its return to the heart. This condition arises from blockage in the internal jugular and/or azygos veins. The Cerebrospinal system is the brain and spine. (Chronic venous insufficiency or CVI is a medical term referring to blockage in return of blood from the legs to the heart.) 

During 2009 a new theory on the possible cause of multiple sclerosis was reported by Dr Paolo Zamboni, Director Vascular Diseases Center, University of Ferrara, Italy. 

Chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency is described as a chronic problem (ongoing) where blood from the brain and spine has trouble getting back to the heart.

It is caused by a narrowing in the veins (stenosis) that drain the brain and the spine. Blood takes longer to return to the heart, and it can reflux back into the brain and spine or cause oedema and leakage of red blood cells and fluids into the tissues of the brain and spine.

Blood that remains in the brain too long creates a delay in deoxyginated blood leaving the head (“slowed perfusion”). This can cause hypoxia, a lack of oxygen in the brain. Plasma and iron from blood deposited in the brain tissue can also be very damaging leading to iron along with other unwelcome cells crossing the crucial brain-blood barrier.

Further clinical trials are in process to verify Dr. Zamboni’s CCSVI theory in relation to MS and the proposed “Liberation Procedure” treatment.

A Brief History of the Early Venous Vascular Observations in Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

 According to Dr. Putnam who discussed vascular abnormalities in MS in 1936, the first observations related to abnormal vasculature or effects related to the vasculature appeared in Cruveilhier in 1839, more than 170 years ago who compared areas of sclerosis with the results of embolism. Rindfleisch  noted in 1863 an engorged vessel in the center of a plaque and in the same year Charcot (4) described vascular obstruction in MS. These observations would be noted again and again over the next 135 years.

What was missing was the advent of imaging as a tool to investigate the vascular system in three dimensions, something that ultrasound takes a step toward as used by Zamboni and more recently the use of magnetic resonance imaging in the study of cerebro-spinal vascular insufficiency or CCSVI.

CCSVI information according to The Multiple Sclerosis Resource Centre

Hear Dr. Zamboni talk about CCSVI here

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