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2020 Apr 12




Cerebral Venous Sinus Thrombosis in Adults with Prothrombotic Conditions: A Systematic Review and a Case from Our Institution.


Cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) is a rare condition characterized by elevated intracranial pressure due to impaired cerebral venous drainage, potentially leading to life-threatening consequences. We searched the PubMed electronic database for 'cerebral venous sinus thrombosis' and 'prothrombotic' cases reported in adults (19+ years) and conducted a systematic review for the published literature in the English language pooled with a case from our institution. Data were analyzed regarding patient demographics, risk factors, clinical features, treatment modalities, and outcomes when available. Thirty cases of CVST were identified (29 case reports, of whom two were described in a case series, and the one case from our institution). The patients' mean age was 39 years (range: 19 – 65). The male: female ratio was 1.14:1. The majority (73.3%) had at least one preexisting risk factor, with prescription drug use being the most common risk factor (33.3%) shared among all patients. Most patients (83.3%) presented with at least two symptoms. The most common presenting symptoms were headache (70%), gastrointestinal disturbance (50%), and seizures (40%). Focal deficits (36.7%), vision disturbances (30%), and altered consciousness (20%) were the remaining presenting complaints. Twelve cases (40%) commented on papilledema, with 10 (83.3%) having papilledema present. Anticoagulation abnormalities were examined in 26 cases (86.7%), out of which four cases (15.4%) had isolated protein S (PS) deficiency, three cases (11.5%) had isolated antithrombin III (ATIII) deficiency, and one case (3.8%) had isolated protein C (PC) deficiency. The most common initial imaging modality (22 cases, 73.3%), and most commonly used overall (23 cases, 76.7%), was computed tomography (CT). Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was the second most common imaging modality for initial use (five cases, 16.7%), diagnosis or confirmation of CVST (eight cases, 26.7%), and overall (21 cases, 70%). Heparin treatment was involved in the treatment of 18 cases (60%), and warfarin treatment was used in 10 cases (33.3%). Heparin-warfarin combination treatment was utilized in eight cases (26.7%). Most patients survived (28 cases, 93.3%), while the two remaining patients died secondary to brain death from the CVST (6.7%). The findings from this study highlight the clinical characteristics of CVST. Therefore, this study aims to increase awareness of this rare entity. Physicians should maintain a high index of suspicion in order to diagnose patients presenting in the proper clinical context, given this case shares various forms of presentations with other common clinical conditions but requires long-term anticoagulation.