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Cerebral sinus venous thrombosis in children


Dr Paul Monagle, Department of Haematology, Royal Children's Hospital, Flemington Road, Parkville, Vic. 3052, Australia. Fax: +61 3 9349 1819; email:


Objective:  Cerebral sinus venous thrombosis (cerebral SVT) is rare in children. Information on clinical characteristics, radiological findings and outcome is emerging.

Methods:  Cases of cerebral SVT diagnosed between 1995 and 2001 were identified by a computer-assisted search using International Classification of Disease codes. Medical records were reviewed to collect information on clinical presentation, investigations, treatment and outcome.

Results:  Sixteen cases of cerebral SVT were identified. All cases presented in association with head and neck pathology. The majority of cases presented with symptoms of raised intracranial pressure and focal neurological signs. Magnetic resonance imaging identified all cases of cerebral SVT whilst CT scanning failed to demonstrate the diagnosis in two cases. Management with anticoagulation was associated with radiological resolution of the thrombosis and normal neurological outcome. Long-term follow up demonstrated neurological deficits in greater than 40% of patients.

Conclusion:  Cerebral SVT in children is associated with significant residual neurological morbidity. Prospective studies to identify predictors of outcome and effective management interventions are required.

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