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Etiology, clinical features, and diagnosis of cerebral venous thrombosis

Authors
José M Ferro, MD, PhD
Patrícia Canhão, MD, PhD
Section Editor
Scott E Kasner, MD
Deputy Editor
John F Dashe, MD, PhD

INTRODUCTION

Cerebral vein and dural sinus thrombosis (CVT) is less common than most other types of stroke but can be more challenging to diagnose. Due to the widespread use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and rising clinical awareness, CVT is recognized with increasing frequency. In addition, it is now known to have a more varied clinical spectrum than previously realized. Because of its myriad causes and presentations, CVT is a disease that may be encountered not only by neurologists and neurosurgeons, but also by internists, oncologists, hematologists, obstetricians, pediatricians, and family practitioners.

This topic will review the epidemiology, pathogenesis, clinical features, and diagnosis of CVT. Prognosis and treatment are discussed separately. (See "Treatment and prognosis of cerebral venous thrombosis".)

EPIDEMIOLOGY

The available data suggest that CVT is uncommon [1]. This conclusion is supported by the following observations:

In large teaching hospitals, only 5 to 10 patients with CVT are admitted yearly [2].

A nationwide hospital-based series in Portugal that included patients admitted to all neurology services in the country identified 91 new cases of CVT, corresponding to an incidence of 0.22/100,000 annually (95% CI 0-0.47) [3].

                     

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Literature review current through: Nov 2016. | This topic last updated: Wed Nov 04 00:00:00 GMT 2015.
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