I didn't realize that angioplasty of veins was not new. Is this for dialysis patients alone where the experience has come, or...? That gives me some comfort to know that IR's are familiar with manipulating veins to some degree and their expertise hasn't been limited to arteries alone.
In a generic sense, the procedure I am performing for ccsvi is angiography and angioplasty of veins. Venous angioplasty has been performed at our institutions since about 1979.; Our report (Glanz S, Gordon DH, Butt KM, Hong J, Adamsons R, Sclafani SJA: Treatment of stenotic lesions in upper extremity dialysis access fistulas by transluminal angioplasty: Four years experience. Radiology 152: 637-642, 1984) was among the first in the United States.
The most common indications are
1.the treatment of vein stenoses caused by hemodialysis catheters
2. the treatment of venous obstructions caused by cancers.
3. treatment of stenoses of jugular veins resulting from repeated dialysis catheterization and causing massive swelling of the head and face and microhemorrhages in the brain.
4. venous narrowings caused by malformations of veins, including Budd Chiari syndrome stenoses of the inferior vena cava and hepatic veins and the May Thurner syndrome, stenosis of the iliac vein.
Other types of venous malformations at our hospitals are treated by embolization and sclerotherapy.
In CCSVI (chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency) a malformation occurs mostly in the region of the confluens of the jugular vein and the subclavian vein. It has been shown that such veins and valves have an abnormal type of Actin. Fused valve leaflets, inverted valves, webs, septae and hypoplasia are seen. In 2009, the College of Phlebology, with representatives of more than fifty countries, voted unanimously to define this malformation.
It is often seen in patients with symptoms of multiple sclerosis, but is also seen in other patients without the diagnosis of MS. These patients have been found to have reduced cerebral blood flow and cerebral atrophy, potentially ischemic in nature, is postulated to be caused at least in part by the outflow problems.
Our procedure calls for percutaneous femoral vein catheterization under local anesthesia, followed by catheterization and angiography of the veins draining the brain and spinal cord, namely the jugular veins and the azygous veins. Occasionally catheterization of the vertebral veins is also performed. These procedures are comparable to the treatments for other venous malformations.
If venous stenoses, slow flow, reflux or collateral flow through the brain and spine are identified. angioplasty of the jugular veins or azygous vein is performed after confirmation of stenosis by intravascular ultrasound. Patient recovery is short with discharge about one hour after the procedure. No sedation is necessary.
As stated above, venous angioplasty is an accepted procedure with a very low complication rate. While no complications were reported by Zamboni, they do occur when venous angioplasty is performed in other veins, including thrombosis, perforation that are minor and usually self limited, and restenosis. Restenosis may have a role in management of restenosis, although the stents were not designed for ccsvi.
Stent placement is also a component of most other venous angioplasty procedures either as an adjunct, as a primary form of overcoming elastic recall or as a secondary procedure to reverse restenosis. These have been safe. There is one anecdotal report in the lay press of a migration of a stent from the jugular vein into the heart that required operative removal; stent migration has been reported during other venous stenting procedures but these are uncomomon.