Objective: This study is the first in a series investigating the relationship between autonomic nervous system dysfunction and chronic cerebrospinal venous insufficiency in multiple sclerosis patients. We screened patients for the combined presence of the narrowing of the internal jugular veins and symptoms of autonomic nervous system dysfunction (fatigue, cognitive dysfunction, sleeping disorders, headache, thermal intolerance, bowel/bladder dysfunction) and determined systolic and diastolic blood pressure responses to balloon angioplasty.
Methods: The criteria for eligibility for balloon angioplasty intervention included ≥ 50% narrowing in one or both internal jugular veins, as determined by the magnetic resonance venography, and ≥ 3 clinical symptoms of autonomic nervous system dysfunction. Blood pressure was measured at baseline and post-balloon angioplasty.
Results: Among patients who were screened, 91% were identified as having internal jugular veins narrowing (with obstructing lesions) combined with the presence of three or more symptoms of autonomic nervous system dysfunction. Balloon angioplasty reduced the average systolic and diastolic blood pressure. However, blood pressure categorization showed a biphasic response to balloon angioplasty. The procedure increased blood pressure in multiple sclerosis patients who presented with baseline blood pressure within lower limits of normal ranges (systolic ≤ 105 mmHg, diastolic ≤ 70 mmHg) but decreased blood pressure in patients with baseline blood pressure above normal ranges (systolic ≥ 130 mmHg, diastolic ≥ 80 mmHg). In addition, gender differences in baseline blood pressure subcategories were observed.
Discussion: The coexistence of internal jugular veins narrowing and symptoms of autonomic nervous system dysfunction suggests that the two phenomena may be related. Balloon angioplasty corrects blood pressure deviation in multiple sclerosis patients undergoing internal jugular vein dilation. Further studies should investigate the association between blood pressure deviation and internal jugular veins narrowing, and whether blood pressure normalization affects Patient's clinical outcomes.
Keywords: Balloon angioplasty; CCSVI; blood pressure deviation; dysautonomia; gender differences; high pressure baroreceptors.
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