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1/11. Dural sinus thrombosis and pseudotumor cerebri: unexpected complications of suboccipital craniotomy and translabyrinthine craniectomy.

    OBJECT: The goal of this study was to document the hazards associated with pseudotumor cerebri resulting from transverse sinus thrombosis after tumor resection. Dural sinus thrombosis is a rare and potentially serious complication of suboccipital craniotomy and translabyrinthine craniectomy. pseudotumor cerebri may occur when venous hypertension develops secondary to outflow obstruction. Previous research indicates that occlusion of a single transverse sinus is well tolerated when the contralateral sinus remains patent. methods: The authors report the results in five of a total of 107 patients who underwent suboccipital craniotomy or translabyrinthine craniectomy for resection of a tumor. Postoperatively, these patients developed headache, visual obscuration, and florid papilledema as a result of increased intracranial pressure (ICP). In each patient, the transverse sinus on the treated side was thrombosed; patency of the contralateral sinus was confirmed on magnetic resonance (MR) imaging. Four patients required lumboperitoneal or ventriculoperitoneal shunts and one required medical treatment for increased ICP. All five patients regained their baseline neurological function after treatment. Techniques used to avoid thrombosis during surgery are discussed. CONCLUSIONS: First, the status of the transverse and sigmoid sinuses should be documented using MR venography before patients undergo posterior fossa surgery. Second, thrombosis of a transverse or sigmoid sinus may not be tolerated even if the sinus is nondominant; vision-threatening pseudotumor cerebri may result. Third, MR venography is a reliable, noninvasive means of evaluating the venous sinuses. Fourth, if the diagnosis is made shortly after thrombosis, then direct endovascular thrombolysis with urokinase may be a therapeutic option. If the presentation is delayed, then ophthalmological complications of pseudotumor cerebri can be avoided by administration of a combination of acetazolamide, dexamethasone, lumbar puncture, and possibly lumboperitoneal shunt placement.
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2/11. MR angiographic diagnosis of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis following allogeneic bone marrow transplantation.

    Allogeneic bone marrow transplantation is frequently associated with neurological complications, particularly intracerebral bleeds and infections. Cerebral venous sinus thrombosis has only rarely been reported following allogeneic transplants. We report three cases of cortical venous thrombosis following allografting for acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. Two patients received marrow from HLA-identical siblings and one from an unrelated donor. Two of the patients presented with grand mal seizures and one presented with a headache. No neurological abnormalities were found upon clinical examination and lumbar puncture was normal in all three cases. In two of the patients computed tomography (CT) of the brain was normal and in the third showed non-specific abnormalities. magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with MR angiography (MRA) demonstrated cerebral venous sinus thrombosis in all three patients. In conclusion, cerebral venous sinus thrombosis should be considered in the differential diagnosis when neurological symptoms occur following allogeneic bone marrow transplantation. We therefore advocate the use of MRA for unexplained neurological symptoms post-allograft since without it cerebral venous sinus thrombosis may easily be missed.
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3/11. Cerebral sinus venous thrombosis in two patients with spontaneous intracranial hypotension.

    We report 2 patients who had clinical and neuroimaging signs of spontaneous intracranial hypotension and who developed cerebral sinus venous thrombosis. This sequence of events -- known after dural puncture but not in spontaneous intracranial hypotension -- was suggested by the change in the pattern of headache, from a postural to a permanent and increasing one. The diagnostic and therapeutic difficulties that this complication raises are discussed.
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4/11. Postural headache in the presence of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis.

    Cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) can present with a headache similar to that after a dural puncture. We report on a patient who developed postural headache after epidural anesthesia for delivery. The headache became more intense during the following 6 days, and the patient had a tonic clonic seizure. A magnetic resonance angiogram demonstrated CSVT, and anticoagulation therapy was started, with resolution of the symptoms over 2 wk. Any postdural-puncture headache that loses its positional character, becomes persistent, or does not improve with a properly performed blood patch should raise the suspicion of CVST.
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5/11. Cerebral vein thrombosis shown by MRI.

    A 46 year old man with a short history of left facial pain and numbness, and subsequently headaches, had a normal physical examination and a normal CT scan of head. Lumbar puncture yielded normal CSF under increased pressure. MRI showed thrombosis of the superior sagittal sinus, subsequently confirmed by angiography. MRI is a sensitive test for detecting intracranial venous thrombosis, and may be the investigation of choice when this disorder is suspected.
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6/11. Septic thrombosis of the dural venous sinuses.

    From 1940 to 1984, 19 cases of septic dural-sinus thrombosis have been diagnosed at the massachusetts General Hospital, and some 136 cases have been reported from other institutions. Septic thrombosis most frequently involves the cavernous sinuses (96 cases). Facial or sphenoid air sinus infection often precede cavernous-sinus disease. In addition to the classical signs of proptosis, chemosis, and oculomotor paralysis, isolated sixth-nerve palsy and hypo- or hyperesthesia of the fifth nerve may be found. The major pathogens associated with cavernous-sinus infection include staphylococcus aureus, other gram-positive organisms, and anaerobes. Septic lateral-sinus thrombosis (64 cases) is almost exclusively a complication of otitis media and/or mastoid infection. Organisms causing this infection include proteus species, escherichia coli, S. aureus, and anaerobes. Septic thrombosis of the superior sagittal sinus (23 cases) most frequently accompanies bacterial meningitis or air sinus infection. Causative organisms include streptococcus pneumoniae, S. aureus, other streptococci, and klebsiella species. Because septic dural-sinus thrombosis is rare, this disease is frequently misdiagnosed. Evaluation should include lumbar puncture, air sinus films, and computed tomographic scan with contrast. Other helpful diagnostic tests may include carotid angiography, and dynamic brain scan. Orbital venography is the most definitive study in cases of chronic cavernous-sinus thrombosis. Therapy should include intravenous antibiotics and early surgical drainage of purulent exudate in the air sinuses or mastoid regions. Retrospective analysis suggests that treatment with heparin may reduce mortality in carefully selected cases of septic cavernous-sinus thrombosis. Anticoagulation is not recommended in other forms of septic dural-sinus thrombosis. mortality in the antibiotic-era remains high, particularly in patients with septic thrombosis of the cavernous (30%) and superior sagittal (78%) sinuses.
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7/11. gallium scintigraphy in a case of septic cavernous sinus thrombosis.

    Septic cavernous sinus thrombosis, a relatively uncommon disease entity, frequently can be fatal. early diagnosis is imperative in order that appropriate treatment be instituted. A 59-year-old woman who was admitted to our institution with complaints of diplopia, blurred vision and fevers that developed following a tooth extraction is presented. Initial CT and lumbar puncture on the day of admission were totally normal. A repeat CT performed 48 hours after admission, on the same day as gallium imaging, demonstrated findings consistent with cavernous sinus thrombosis. gallium imaging demonstrated intense uptake in the left cavernous sinus and left orbit as well as moderately increased activity in the right cavernous sinus and orbit, confirming infection. The patient was treated with antibiotics, and repeat CT and gallium imaging were performed ten days later, both of which demonstrated near total resolution of the disease process. Conceivably, if gallium imaging had been initiated on the day of admission it may have been the first study to demonstrate an infectious process in the cavernous sinus. gallium imaging should be considered as a diagnostic tool in the noninvasive workup of this entity.
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8/11. Behcet's disease: presentation with sagittal sinus thrombosis diagnosed noninvasively.

    The standard evaluation of patients with intracranial hypertension frequently does not reveal a discrete pathophysiologic process, leading in these cases to classification of the syndrome as "benign." We present a 35-year-old woman with a recent diagnosis of pseudotumor cerebri who presented with headache, emesis, and blurring of vision. Her symptoms were progressive despite two lumbar punctures that revealed normal cerebrospinal fluid under high pressure. Contrast and noncontrast CT scans were normal; both the cerebrospinal fluid and CT neuroimaging were thus consistent with benign intracranial hypertension. An MRI, however, supported the presence of sagittal sinus thrombosis, a finding which was confirmed by MR venography. Further workup for an underlying cause of sinus thrombosis disclosed symptoms and signs fulfilling the diagnostic criteria for Behcet's disease. Cerebral venous (or sinus) thrombosis should be considered in the differential diagnosis of intracranial hypertension. Behcet's disease, while extremely rare, should be considered as a potential cause of cerebral venous thrombosis. Magnetic resonance venography can serve as a useful diagnostic study in situations where confirmation or exclusion of sinus thrombosis is required.
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9/11. Thunderclap headache as first symptom of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis. CVST Study Group.

    BACKGROUND: Thunderclap headache raises the suspicion of subarachnoid haemorrhage, and it is not generally recognised as a symptom of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST). We describe ten patients who presented with thunderclap headache mimicking subarachnoid haemorrhage, who appeared to have CVST. methods: Medical histories of 71 patients who had CVST between 1992 and 1996 were collected. 48 of these took part in a randomised trial of treatment for CVST. The diagnosis was confirmed by conventional angiography or magnetic resonance imaging and angiography in all patients. FINDINGS: In all ten patients who presented with thunderclap headache, characteristics of the headache and clinical signs and symptoms were clinically indistinguishable from those of subarachnoid haemorrhage. Computed tomography at admission was interpreted as normal in five patients (one with single-dose contrast), as subarachnoid haemorrhage in three, and as multiple intracranial haemorrhages in the remaining patients (one with single-dose contrast). cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) analysis was done in six patients, and showed erythrocytes and bilirubin in one. CSF pressure was high in the only patient for whom it was measured. INTERPRETATION: The best initial investigation in patients with thunderclap headache is emergency computed tomography. If no abnormality is detected, lumbar puncture should be done after at least 12 h (to detect or exclude subarachnoid haemorrhage). CSF pressure should be measured. If the CSF pressure is high or if a headache of unknown origin persists, the diagnosis of CVST should be considered.
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10/11. Use of magnetic resonance imaging and magnetic resonance angiography in diagnosis of sigmoid sinus thrombosis.

    magnetic resonance angiography is an established radiologic technique which is rapidly becoming useful in imaging the head and neck. Currently, this imaging modality is important in the diagnosis of sigmoid sinus thrombosis caused by otologic disease. Since the introduction of antibiotic therapy, the percentage of deaths attributed to intracranial complications from otitic disease has decreased from 2.5 to approximately 0.25% of documented deaths. Also, the incidence of sinus thrombosis within this group has decreased, but it is still a serious and potentially lethal condition. Sinus thrombosis is suspected clinically when mastoid disease progresses, with picket fence fever pattern, chills, headaches and signs of papilledema. Definitive diagnosis is necessary before surgical treatment. The Queckenstedt test is unreliable, computed tomography is better suited for demonstrating thrombosis of the sagittal sinus rather than the sigmoid sinus, and conventional angiography (although it provides excellent visualization) has the hazard of ionizing radiation and requires vessel puncture and the use of intraarterial contrast agents. We present two cases of thrombosis of the sigmoid sinus as an intracranial otologic complication which were diagnosed definitively with magnetic resonance imaging and magnetic resonance angiography. The combination of magnetic resonance imaging, which showed the thrombosis displaying abnormal signal intensity, and magnetic resonance angiography, which demonstrated the absence of flow in the sinus, was an ideal diagnostic tool. For both patients, treatment consisted of mastoidectomy, sigmoid sinus decompression and antibiotics.
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