Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology
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REVIEW ARTICLE
Year : 2008  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 79-87

Cerebral venous thrombosis: Update on clinical manifestations, diagnosis and management


Department of Neurology, EA2691, Stroke Unit, Lille University Hospital, Lille, France

Correspondence Address:
Didier Leys
Service de neurologie et pathologie neuro-vasculaire, Hôpital Roger Salengro, 59037 Lille
France
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


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Cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT) has a wide spectrum of clinical manifestations that may mimic many other neurological disorders and lead to misdiagnoses. Headache is the most common symptom and may be associated with other symptoms or remain isolated. The other frequent manifestations are focal neurological deficits and diffuse encephalopathies with seizures. The key to the diagnosis is the imaging of the occluded vessel or of the intravascular thrombus, by a combination of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and magnetic resonance venography (MRV). Causes and risk factors include medical, surgical and obstetrical causes of deep vein thrombosis, genetic and acquired prothrombotic disorders, cancer and hematological disorders, inflammatory systemic disorders, pregnancy and puerperium, infections and local causes such as tumors, arteriovenous malformations, trauma, central nervous system infections and local infections. The breakdown of causes differs in different parts of the world. A meta-analysis of the most recent prospectively collected series showed an overall 15% case-fatality or dependency rate. Heparin therapy is the standard therapy at the acute stage, followed by 3-6 months of oral anticoagulation. Patients with isolated intracranial hypertension may require a lumbar puncture to remove cerebrospinal fluid before starting heparin when they develop a papilloedema that may threaten the visual acuity or decompressive hemicraniectomy. Patients who develop seizures should receive antiepileptic drugs. Cerebral venous thrombosis - even pregnancy-related - should not contraindicate future pregnancies. The efficacy and safety of local thrombolysis and decompressive hemicraniectomy should be tested


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