Angioplasty May Help Relieve Certain MS Related Symptoms

A study suggests that angioplasty may also help relieve some of the symptoms associated with venous abnormalities in patients with MS. The findings were recently presented at the Society of Interventional Radiology’s 37th Annual Scientific Meeting in San Francisco, California.

Angioplasty is a procedure wherein a tiny balloon is inserted and blown up inside a clogged artery in order to widen it. This procedure is usually performed on people with clogged arteries or heart problems. But recent findings show that it can also be used to help relieve symptoms for multiple sclerosis. “These early results show that performing angioplasty on azygos and jugular vein lesions may have a positive impact on the symptoms of those individuals with MS and also could be an effective palliative treatment geared toward improving their quality of life,” says,  Hector Ferral M.D. and the study’s lead investigator.

“Our experience showed that 95 percent of the individuals we evaluated had venous obstructions, supporting the concept that venous lesions are common in individuals with multiple sclerosis,” adds Ferral, who is also an interventional radiologist at NorthShore University HealthSystem in Evanston, Ill.

The said study involved examining the results of 105 procedures that was performed on 94 patients with MS. The study group was composed of 35 men and 59 women with an age range of 26 to 67 years old. The Jugular and azygos veins of the patients were examined using selective venography where the images of the veins were taken after injection of a contrasting dye. An intravascular ultrasound was also performed to let the physician see the blood vessels from the inside.

Angioplasty was performed on the patients when the imaging of the veins confirmed reflux, where blood flows backward as a result of the heart valves weaken and don’t close properly. Patients who also show a 50 percent decrease in blood vessel diameter are also chosen to undergo the said procedure. Stents were used in cases where the blockages and lesions are not responsive to treatment. The patients were also given blood thinning medications for a period of 6 weeks after the treatment.

The results showed that 55 percent of the individuals treated showed symptomatic improvement while 38 percent showed the opposite. Seven percent of the patients were not able to comply with follow-up visits and therefore was not included in the final results.

Around 60 percent of patients with relapsing remitting MS reported symptomatic improvements, which is also the highest in all the other MS sub-groups in the said study. “These important results revealed that, for people with multiple sclerosis who experience debilitating symptoms, minimally invasive interventional radiology treatments can be an effective, palliative treatment that also may improve their quality of life,” states Ferral.

Source: Medical News Today

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