Vein-Opening Treatment Safe for Multiple Sclerosis Patients, Say Researchers
ScienceDaily (Mar. 28, 2011) — Understanding that angioplasty -- a medical treatment used by interventional radiologists to widen the veins in the neck and chest to improve blood flow -- is safe may encourage additional studies for its use as a treatment option for individuals with multiple sclerosis, say researchers at the Society of Interventional Radiology's 36th Annual Scientific Meeting in Chicago, Ill.
"Angioplasty -- the nonsurgical procedure of threading a thin tube into a vein or artery to open blocked or narrowed blood vessels -- is a safe treatment. Our study will provide researchers the confidence to study it as an MS treatment option for the future," said Kenneth Mandato, M.D., an interventional radiologist at Albany Medical Center in Albany, N.Y. In a retrospective study, 231 MS patients (age range, 25 to 70 years old; 147 women, 84 men) underwent this endovascular treatment of the internal jugular and azygos veins with or without placement of a stent (a tiny mesh tube). "Our results show that such treatment is safe when performed in the hospital or on an outpatient basis -- with 97 percent treated without incident," Mandato noted.