Overlooked early CT signs of cerebral venous thrombosis with lethal outcome.

Institute of Oncology, Diagnostic Imaging Center, Sremska Kamenica, Serbia.
Acta neurologica Belgica (Impact Factor: 0.6). 12/2010; 110(4):345-8.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT The aim of this report is to emphasize the consequences of overlooked initial CT signs of cerebral venous thrombosis. Brain CT was ordered in an afebrile patient with neck pain and occipital headache. Since no abnormalities were noted on non-contrast CT study, the patient was discharged with recommendation for routine laboratory tests and plain X-ray of the cervical spine. Right hemiparesis developed the next day with persistent headache and the patient was sent back to the Neurology Clinic where he developed myoclonic seizures compatible with focal motor status epilepticus. Neuroimaging, performed two days later, revealed a huge hemorrhagic venous infarcts in the left posterior cerebral hemisphere associated with typical signs of dural sinus thrombosis. Subtle curvilinear hyperdensities were detected within the left parietal cortico-subcortical border zone on reevaluation of the initial brain CT. A posteriori these were thought to be compatible with a developing venous infarct, associated with subtle signs most consistent with combined cortical vein and sinus thrombosis. No improvement was noted after administration of anticoagulant treatment and the patient died 11 days after the initial CT scan. Detection of early CT signs of cerebral venous thrombosis is extremely important, since delaying adequate treatment may have catastrophic consequences.

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