Document Detail

Evidence for subacute fat embolism as the cause of multiple sclerosis.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  6120358     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
The neurological features of decompression sickness, which is thought to be due to gas embolism, are similar to those of multiple sclerosis (MS). This similarity suggested the re-examination of a concept, first proposed in 1882, that the demyelination in MS is due to venous thrombosis. Unfortunately, although the plaques of MS are often perivenular, thromboses are not always present. Nevertheless, vascular theories can explain the topography of the lesions in MS. Embolism is generally associated with arterial rather than venous damage, and with neuronal infarction rather than loss of myelin. However, the intra-arterial injection of a range of substances can cause venous damage and perivenous demyelination in the brain, although it does not exactly reproduce the plaques seen in man. There is also evidence in man that fat may lodge in the microcirculation of the nervous system and cause distal perivenous oedema with the loss of myelin from axons. Since acute fat embolism may produce lesions not only in the white matter of the brain, but also in the cord, the retina, the meninges, and the skin, and since all these have been described in MS, subacute fat embolism may be the cause of MS.
P B James
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Comparative Study; Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Lancet     Volume:  1     ISSN:  0140-6736     ISO Abbreviation:  Lancet     Publication Date:  1982 Feb 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  1982-04-20     Completed Date:  1982-04-20     Revised Date:  2006-11-15    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  2985213R     Medline TA:  Lancet     Country:  ENGLAND    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  380-6     Citation Subset:  AIM; IM; S    
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MeSH Terms
Anoxia / etiology,  therapy
Blood Vessels / pathology
Decompression Sickness / etiology,  pathology
Demyelinating Diseases / pathology
Embolism, Fat / complications*,  pathology
Hyperbaric Oxygenation
Multiple Sclerosis / etiology*,  pathology
Nerve Net / blood supply
Thrombophlebitis / pathology

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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