Saturday, 31 May 2014


It seems that when we post on this subject, it brings out the worse of some of the readers. So when your blood is boiling over some comment we have made and you have that urge to post something insulting, take a deep breath and stop.

We performed a monocentric observational prospective study to evaluate coagulation activation and endothelial dysfunction parameters in patients with multiple sclerosis undergoing endovascular treatment for cerebro-spinal-venous insufficiency. Between February 2011 and July 2012, 144 endovascular procedures in 110 patients with multiple sclerosis and chronical cerebro-spinal venous insufficiency were performed and they were prospectively analyzed. Each patient was included in the study according to previously published criteria, assessed by the investigators before enrollment. Endothelial dysfunction and coagulation activation parameters were determined before the procedure and during follow-up at 1, 3, 6, 9, 12, 15 and 18 months after treatment, respectively. After the endovascular procedure, patients were treated with standard therapies, with the addition of mesoglycan. Fifty-five percent patients experienced a favorable outcome of multiple sclerosis within 1 month after treatment, 25% regressed in the following 3 months, 24.9% did not experience any benefit. In only 0.1% patients, acute recurrence was observed and it was treated with high-dose immunosuppressive therapy. No major complications were observed. Coagulation activation and endothelial dysfunction parameters were shown to be reduced at 1 month and stable up to 12-month follow-up, and they were furthermore associated with a good clinical outcome. Endovascular procedures performed by a qualified staff are well tolerated; they can be associated with other currently adopted treatments. Correlations between inflammation, coagulation activation and neurodegenerative disorders are here supported by the observed variations in plasma levels of markers of coagulation activation and endothelial dysfunction.

Epub: Lubelski D, Alvin MD, Silverstein M, Senol N, Abdullah KG, Benzel EC, Mroz TE. Quality of life outcomes following surgery for patients with coexistent cervical stenosis and multiple sclerosis.Eur Spine J. 2014 May.

PURPOSE: To investigate the quality of life outcomes following surgical treatment of patients with coexisting multiple sclerosis (MS) and cervical stenosis with associated myelopathy (CS).

METHODS: A retrospective review of the medical records and of prospectively acquired quality of life (QOL) data was performed for all patients with symptoms of myelopathy and coexisting diagnoses of MS and CS that underwent cervical decompression surgery between 2008 and 2011. The study population was matched (1:4) to a control cohort of patients that did not have MS but presented with similar myelopathic symptoms due to cervical stenosis, were of the same age and gender, and underwent the same cervical decompression procedure within the same year.

RESULTS: Sixty-five patients were reviewed, including 13 in the MS group and 52 in the control group that were followed for an average of 22 and 18 months, respectively. Whereas patients in the MS cohort remained at a Quality-Adjusted Life-Year (QALY) gain of 0.51 both pre- and post-operatively (p = 0.96), patients in the matched control cohort improved from a preoperative QALY of 0.50 to a postoperative QALY of 0.64 (p < 0.0001). The latter represents an improvement that exceeds the minimum clinically important difference. Overall, 70 % of patients in the control group experienced an improvement in QALY, compared to only 54 % in the MS group (p = 0.4).

CONCLUSION: Patients in the control cohort had clinically and statistically significant improvements in QALY outcomes. Those in the MS cohort averaged no change in QALY. However, only a minority of MS/CS patients had worsening QALY following surgery, and as such surgery may still be considered for these patients. It is imperative that there are preoperative discussions with the MS/CS patient regarding the likelihood that surgery will only provide limited, if any, improvements in QOL.

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