Neurological Sciences

, Volume 32, Issue 1, pp 17–21

Chronic cerebro-spinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI) and multiple sclerosis

Review Article


Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory demyelinating disease of the CNS caused by the interplay of genetic and environmental factors. In the last years, it has been suggested that an abnormal venous drainage due to stenosis or malformation of the internal jugular and/or azygous veins may play a major pathogenetic role in MS. This abnormality called chronic cerebro-spinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI) could result in increased permeability of blood brain barrier, local iron deposition and secondary multifocal inflammation. In the present paper, literature data in favour and against this hypothesis are reported. A great variability of CCSVI has been found in both MS patients (ranging from 0 to 100%) and in control subjects (from 0 to 23%). This large variability is explained by methodological aspects, problems in assessing CCSVI, and differences among clinical series. It is urgent to perform appropriate epidemiological studies to define the possible relationship between CCSVI and MS.


Multiple sclerosis CCSVI Doppler sonography Extracranial venous stenosis MRI 

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Centro Studi Sclerosi MultiplaOspedale di Gallarate, Coordinator of Multiple Sclerosis Study Group, Italian Society of NeurologyGallarateItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento di NeurologiaUniversità Vita-Salute San Raffaele, Elected President of Italian Society of NeurologyMilanoItaly
  3. 3.Dipartimento di Scienze NeurologicheNeurochirurgiche e del Comportamento, Università degli Studi di Siena, President of Italian Society of NeurologySienaItaly
  4. 4.Centro Studi Sclerosi MultiplaOspedale S. Antonio AbateGallarateItaly

Personalised recommendations