Dr. Field Awarded National MS Society grant for CCSVI Research

Posted on August 2010

Aaron Field, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Radiology, has been awarded a $593,261 grant from the National MS Society (NMSS) for his proposal entitled, “Study of Chronic Cerebrospinal Venous Insufficiency (CCSVI) in MS using Quantitative Time-Resolved 3D Magnetic Resonance Venography (MRV).” The CCSVI hypothesis recently put forward by Dr. Paolo Zamboni of the University of Ferrara, Italy posits that MS is caused or exacerbated by chronically impaired drainage of blood from the brain and spinal cord, through veins that are abnormally narrowed by a congenital structural defect. The aims of Dr. Field’s study are: (1) independently confirm or refute current evidence for a relationship between CCSVI and MS; (2) further characterize the nature of CCSVI and its relationship to cerebral perfusion and iron content through time-resolved 3D-Phase-Contrast MRV measures of venous stenoses, collaterals, flow velocities, and trans-stenotic pressure gradients; (3) determine whether the severity, extent, or specific pattern of CCSVI predicts regionally specific MS disease burden, as objectively measured by conventional brain and spinal cord lesion loads as well as advanced, quantitative MRI of normal-appearing cerebral white matter; and (4) address the question of causality by seeking a relationship between the degree or extent of CCSVI and MS disease duration. The study will determine whether therapeutic trials for CCSVI are indicated, and will provide an objective, reproducible imaging protocol well-suited for such a trial.

Dr. Field was one of seven investigators in the U.S. and Canada (three in the U.S.) to receive one of these grants
(NMSS press release) and news of the award was reported by local media (WISC-TV).

For further information on Dr. Field’s study, including contact information for prospective study participants, see page 9 of the Summer 2010 issue of MS Connection, the official newsletter of the NMSS Wisconsin Chapter.