What is CCSVI?
What is CCSVI?
CCSVI is Chronic Cerebrospinal Venous Insufficiency. It is characterized by abnormal venous blood flow resulting from numerous obstacles in the main veins (internal jugular and azygous) draining the central nervous system. The most common vein affected is the internal jugular and most of the abnormalities are located at the level of jugular valve.
Blood flow is essential. An intricate network of arteries brings oxygen and nutrients to every cell in the body, and at the same time a complementary network of veins removes carbon dioxide and waste from every cell. If either part of the circulatory system does not function properly the cells, tissues, organs and glands will have difficulties. Insufficient venous blood flow can lead to the development of brain and nerve dysfunction.
These veins can be narrowed, blocked, or even in rare cases missing (never fully developed). As a result of venous abnormalities, the blood flow rate through the central nervous system back toward the heart may become slowed and blood may reflux (reverse) back toward the brain and spine.
CCSVI Atlanta offers CCSVI Doppler screenings to evaluate the blood flow in both the brain and also as the blood travels through the neck toward the heart.
A CCSVI diagnosis may include one or more of the following abnormalities:
- An abnormal valve, septum, flap, or membrane that blocks or inhibits blood flow through the veins
- Reflux blood flow toward the brain or partial/no-flow detected through the veins returning blood flow toward the heart
- Stenosis is an abnormal narrowing of the veins that restricts blood flow. Types of stenosis include the collapse of the vein, twisting of the vein, ring-like narrowing in the vein, and other similar obstructions
- Internal jugular vein extrinsic compression causes restriction in blood flow
- Atresia, hypoplasia, or agenesis are severe venous problems, including veins that are partially closed, underdeveloped, minimally formed, or almost entirely missing
The animation shows how stenosis in veins draining the central nervous system can cause CCSVI.
Animation provided by Dr. Zamboni.