Study links cerebrospinal venous insufficiency to multiple sclerosis

A META-ANALYSIS has found chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency (CCVI) may be more common in people with multiple sclerosis (MS), potentially bolstering a controversial theory about the disease.

The research, funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health, found CCVI – abnormalities in the anatomy and flow of intra- and extracerebral veins– was more common in people with MS compared to healthy controls on pooling data from eight studies.

However, the odds dropped from 13.5% to 4.7% when data from the original hypothesis generating study about CCVI by Dr Paolo Zamboni was removed. 

The studies were too heterogeneous to allow a definitive conclusion, the authors said. 

CMAJ 2011, online 3 October