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Sunday, March 17, 2013

Vein Surgery for MS Fails in First Controlled Trial

SAN DIEGO -- Outcomes in multiple sclerosis patients were not improved with a controversial surgical procedure -- percutaneous transluminal venous angioplasty -- to improve blood flow in cerebrospinal veins, results of a small, double-blind, controlled trial indicated.
Among nine patients who underwent the venoplasty to clear blockages, clinical outcomes and brain lesion measures were generally worse after 6 months than in the 10 patients who received a sham procedure, Adnan Siddiqui, MD, of the State University of New York at Buffalo, and colleagues found.
Patients in the active-treatment group had a total of four clinical MS relapses during follow-up, compared with one relapse in the control group. MRI lesion volumes and numbers also were no better and, for some measures, showed strong trends toward worsened disease activity in the patients undergoing venoplasty.
Data from the study were released in advance of Siddiqui's formal presentation next week at the American Academy of Neurology's annual meeting here.
The findings were especially notable because they represent the first report of a randomized, controlled, double-blind trial of the procedure -- and also because Siddiqui and co-principal investigator Robert Zivadinov, MD, also of the University at Buffalo, have been more accepting than most U.S. neurologists of the theory underlying the venoplasty procedure.


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