Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Percutaneous transluminal angioplasty for treatment of chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency in people with multiple sclerosis: a summary of a Cochrane systematic review
  1. Esther J van Zuuren1,
  2. Zbys Fedorowicz2,
  3. Eugenio Pucci3,
  4. Vanitha Jagannath4,
  5. Edward W Robak5
  1. 1Department of Dermatology B1-Q, Leiden University Medical Centre, Leiden, The Netherlands
  2. 2The Cochrane Collaboration, UKCC (Bahrain Branch), Awali, Bahrain
  3. 3U.O. Neurologia, Ospedale di Macerata, ASUR Marche—Area Vasta 3, Macerata, Italy
  4. 4Department of Paediatrics, American Mission Hospital, Manama, Bahrain
  5. 5Fredericton, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Esther J van Zuuren, Department of Dermatology B1-Q, Leiden University Medical Centre, PO Box 9600, Leiden 2300 RC, The Netherlands; E.J.van_Zuuren{at}


Background It has been recently hypothesised that chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI) may be an important factor in the pathogenesis of multiple sclerosis (MS). The proposed treatment for CCSVI is percutaneous transluminal angioplasty, also known as the ‘liberation procedure’, which is claimed to improve the blood flow in the brain, thereby alleviating some of the symptoms of MS. Our objective was to determine the effects of percutaneous transluminal angioplasty used for the treatment of CCSVI in people with MS.

Methods We searched the following databases up to June 2012 for randomised controlled trials: The Cochrane Multiple Sclerosis and Rare Diseases of the Central Nervous System Group Specialised Register, CENTRAL, in The Cochrane Library 2012, Issue 5, MEDLINE (from 1946), EMBASE (from 1974) and reference lists of articles. We also searched several online trials registries for ongoing trials.

Results Our searches retrieved 159 references, six of which were related to ongoing trials. No randomised controlled trials met our inclusion criteria.

Conclusions There is currently no high level evidence to support or refute the efficacy or safety of percutaneous transluminal angioplasty for treatment of CCSVI in people with MS. Clinical practice should be guided by evidence supported by well-designed randomised controlled trials: closure of some of the gaps in the evidence may be feasible at completion of the six ongoing clinical trials.

  • Multiple Sclerosis

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.

Linked Articles

  • Editorial commentary
    C Baracchini
  • Editorial commentary
    Graeme J Hankey Peter Sandercock Teresa Anna Cantisani Maria G Celani