University of Wisconsin–Madison

Reliability of Novel MR Nethods for Imaging Cerebrospinal Venous Insufficiency (CCSVI) in Multiple Sclerosis (MS)

August 2011 to March 2012

The controversial “CCSVI hypothesis” suggests that MS results from chronically poor drainage of venous blood from the brain and spinal cord (so-called “cerebrospinal venous insufficiency” or CCSVI). We are studying novel MRI methods for CCSVI imaging. Preliminary results of this research, as well as those of other CCSVI investigators, have raised concerns over the reliability of CCSVI imaging, given large inter-individual variations in normal vein anatomy and poorly understood changes in blood flow with body position, breathing, etc. Therefore, as a “sub-study” of our primary CCSVI project we will test the reliability of our novel imaging methods by having ten healthy subjects undergo our CCSVI MRI protocol twice on different days; the test-retest reproducibility of multiple CCSVI measures (e.g. blood flow rates, forward/reverse flow, etc.) will then be determined using statistical analysis. Additionally, the unknown impact of respiratory (breathing-related) variations on CCSVI measures will be determined using sophisticated MRI techniques.

This project led by: Aaron S Field, MD, PhD