April 7, 2010 – The MS world may be witnessing an historic breakthrough in the understanding and treatment of the disease with the connection that is now being made with venous problems and is being called Chronic Cerebrospinal Venous Insufficiency (CCSVI). Every week, new information is coming out about:
- what constitutes CCSVI
- how CCSVI relates to MS
- how to diagnose CCSVI
- what to do about CCSVI.
The one thing that has become very clear is that it takes specialized equipment and specialized training for technologists and radiologists to accurately diagnose and evaluate CCSVI. As of now, MRI and Ultrasound scanning techniques have not been standardized, so what is found on one scan, may not be found on another. One of the first orders of business is to standardize diagnostic imaging techniques.
At Canada Diagnostic, we are following the developments very closely. At this time, we are choosing not to provide any diagnostic tests for CCSVI.
The main reason that we are not providing this service is that we don’t feel we would be serving the patient population by charging them money to provide them with information that may or may not turn out to be accurate, given the state of flux that CCSVI imaging is in.
Additionally, we do not want to charge a fee for a test, results of which cannot be acted upon. There is currently no place in Canada that is providing either balloon or stent venoplasty for MS.
While it is true that some people with MS are getting scans in Canada and then going overseas for treatment based on their scan results, the vast majority are staying home for the time being. Whether one chooses to go overseas now, or wait for treatment to be available at home, you will be given another test (possibly another MRI or ultrasound and then Venography—the gold standard). We can’t, in good conscience, charge you for a test that you will have to have done all over again.
In the meantime, we have chosen to support the comprehensive and exciting research that UBC is doing in this area. We are confident that the research that they and others throughout the Canadian Network of MS Clinics are doing will yield really exciting news very soon.