Saturday, 2 June 2012

CCSVI takes another hit

To systematically review the ultrasonographic criteria proposed for the diagnosis of chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency (CCSVI). The authors analyzed the five ultrasonographic criteria, four extracranial and one intracranial, suggested for the diagnosis of CCSVI in MS, together with the references from which these criteria were derived and the main studies that explored the physiology of cerebrospinal drainage. The proposed CCSVI criteria are questionable due to both methodological and technical errors: criteria 1 and 3 are based on a scientifically incorrect application of data obtained in a different setting; criteria 2 and 4 have never been validated before; criterion 2 is technically incorrect; criteria 3 and 5 are susceptible to so many external factors that it is difficult to state whether the data collected are pathological or a variation from the normal. It is also unclear how it was decided that two or more of these five ultrasound criteria may be used to diagnose CCSVI, since no validation of these criteria was performed by different and independent observers nor were they blindly compared with a validated gold-standard investigation. The European Society of Neurosonology and Cerebral Hemodynamics (ESNCH) has considerable concerns regarding the accuracy of the proposed criteria for CCSVI in MS. Therefore, any potentially harmful interventional treatment such as transluminal angioplasty and/or stenting should be strongly discouraged.

"CCSVI hits another brickwall! I beginning to wonder how Zamboni's original paper got  through the peer review process."

"It is clear that peer reviewers had better start taking their role more seriously and that journal editors should make sure that conflicts of interest are declared!"

"If peer review had been rigorous and conflicts declared CCSVI would not be what it is today and more importantly several MSers, who have died from unlicensed procedures, outside of clinical trials, would still be alive today."

"Food for thought?"