I have a couple of hours to kill before I leave for the hospital this morning for my CCSVI venogram and possible angioplasty, so I thought I’d blog for a few minutes.
I was critical of MRV’s and ultrasounds in my post last night. Let me qualify that a little bit. For someone in my situation, who will be getting the gold standard for CCSVI diagnostic tests later today (venogram), the noninvasive tests I underwent yesterday are relatively unimportant to me.
But we do need to come up with a set of noninvasive tests that are accurate and repeatable, for a couple of reasons. First, administering a venogram to every MS patient in the world would be a tough sell, today anyway. It is an expensive test, and it is somewhat invasive. So we need a screening tool, but it can't be a screening tool that has high false negatives or high false positives. At this point in the early “life” of CCSVI, it takes someone with the experience level of Dr. Zamboni’s team in order to accomplish this. It takes practice. It takes repetitions. Some organizations around the globe are starting to gain this valuable experience, but so many other organizations are just getting started.
Second, we need a noninvasive test in order to examine those patients who have already undergone a CCSVI procedure. Those people will want to have their CCSVI repair evaluated periodically in order to determine if the veins that were opened have closed (re-stenosed). It’s not practical to have those patients submit to an invasive test every six months or year.
So, although I consider the ultrasound and MRV to be imperfect tools at this time, I am not advocating that we discard them. I am advocating that we perfect their use in CCSVI diagnosis.