Frequently asked questions

Is the liberation treatment safe?
Complications have been reported as a result of liberation treatment for multiple sclerosis. In February 2010, it was reported that two patients had serious complications from stents (metal tubes) used in their veins. One patient suffered a fatal blood clot in the brain, while another had to undergo open heart surgery after a jugular vein stent dislodged into their right ventricle.
Could the liberation treatment make MS worse?
The Canadian CCSVI trial did not find evidence of that.
What are the results of other research studies?
Preliminary results from Dr. Zivadinov at the Jacobs Center in Buffalo demonstrated that approximately 56% of MS patients had abnormalities on ultrasound suspicious for CCSVI but so did 22% of healthy volunteers. This is somewhat different from the 100% rate of abnormality Dr. Zamboni reported in MS patients and 0% in healthy volunteers. It could suggest that CCSVI is less common or less distinct than previously thought. Conversely it could suggest that ultrasound is not accurate enough to detect CCSVI. It does clearly show the importance of independent research in any new medical claim.
My ultrasound said I have CCSVI. What can I do?
While this may be accurate, it is also possible that the test is providing a "false positive" result due to lack of standardization and lack of experience.
Can I ask to have my MRI checked for CCSVI?
Most MRIs for the routine monitoring of MS do not include pictures of the veins and would not be suitable for checking for CCSVI. A specialized MRI examination, known as MR venography (MRV) is needed. MRV is not always accurate for detecting CCSVI.
Can I get tested for CCSVI?
Testing for CCSVI is not routinely available, nor recommended at this time.
Where can I get the liberation procedure for CCSVI?
The liberation procedure for CCSVI is not routinely performed in Canada.
If I seek out the liberation procedure overseas, what level of care can I expect from the UBC Hospital MS Clinic?
Canadian MS specialists remain committed to providing care to the highest standards possible to all Canadians with MS. Any Canadian with a medical condition or emergency can expect to receive standard of care at any Canadian facility.
How do I know if treatment for CCSVI is part of a research study?
You should be given an informed consent form that has been reviewed and approved by an ethics board. The ethics board should be clearly identified on the consent form. In general, there should be no cost or payment for participation in a research study.
Why did more research into CCSVI need to be done?
Many of us in the MS clinical and research community watched this story with great interest, but also with some natural skepticism as we have seen similar claims of potential causes and cures in the past. Dr. Zamboni's results were preliminary or "pilot" data that require independent validation. This process of independent validation has been one of the greatest advancements in modern medicine and is crucial for confirming important results and preventing potentially dangerous or useless but costly treatments from being undertaken. Dr. Zamboni agrees that this is an important step that must be undertaken. The many advances in care for MS patients today exist because of this process and the sacrifice made by many volunteers.

For more information on MS and CCSVI, please check the following websites:

To donate to MS and CCSVI research, visit: