[Progression of cerebral venous thromboses. A retrospective study]

G Rodier, E Schlück, F Derouiche, P Bronner, C Boulay, S Courtois, E Cohen
La Presse Médicale 2003 May 10, 32 (16): 728-33

OBJECTIVES: The management of patients with presumed cerebral venous thrombosis has been recently modified by magnetic resonance imaging and evidence that the early use of heparin decreases mortality and morbidity. Long term outcome of patients with cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT) has rarely been described. We present the results of a follow-up study.

METHODS: Twenty patients admitted between 1987 and 1999 for CVT were retrospectively studied. Outcome and follow-up were obtained from direct observation or telephone interviews.

RESULTS: There were 16 women and 4 men aged a mean of 39 years (range: 19 to 72). The population was followed-up for a mean of 34 months (range: 12-96). All the patients were initially treated with full-dose heparin. Thirteen of the 20 patients (65%) exhibited no after effects. Seven patients (35%) remained neurologically impaired. The outcome of clinical forms with intracranial hypertension appeared better, but the existence of an initial neurological deficit is of poor prognosis. The small cohort in our series did not permit us to identify other poor prognostic factors. One patient (5%) exhibited subsequent epilepsy. Only one patient (5%) suffered for a second CVT. One patient died from an ovarian neoplasm. No systemic venous thromboembolic relapse was reported. Three patients had non complicated pregnancies.

CONCLUSION: Recurrent CVT and systemic venous thrombo-embolic episodes are rare although heparin treatment was suspended early in more than half of the patients. This would question the indication of long-term antivitamin K, which is clearly indicated in auto-immune diseases but is debatable in cases of thrombophilia.

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