Otitic hydrocephalus associated with lateral sinus thrombosis and acute mastoiditis in children

Jerzy Kuczkowski, Mirosława Dubaniewicz-Wybieralska, Tomasz Przewoźny, Waldemar Narozny, Bogusław Mikaszewski
International Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology 2006, 70 (10): 1817-23
The incidence of intracranial complications of acute otitis media (AOM) has decreased and the need for operative and medical treatment is declined during the antibiotic era. To describe pathognomonic signs, evaluation management, operative findings, clinical course and outcome of otitic hydrocephalus and lateral sinus thrombosis as complications of AOM and mastoiditis in pediatric patients. Two children, 9 and 13 years old, with the diagnosis of OH and TK and MRI findings are presented. Intracranial complications in children resulted from unsuccessful treatment of AOM, which led to acute mastoiditis and lateral sinus thrombosis. Both of the presented children had thrombus in their sigmoid sinus preoperatively, demonstrated by MRI, causing decreased blood flow. Both patients underwent a mastoidectomy and delamination of sigmoid sinus with puncture of sinuses. After medical and surgical treatment, blood flow through the sinus increased significantly. In both cases signs of increased intracranial pressure ceased. The clinical presentation of otogenic lateral sinus thrombosis (LST) as a complication of acute otitis media (AOM) can be masked by antibiotic treatment. The episodes of vomiting, headache, visual impairment and a history of AOM seem to be indicative for otitic hydrocephalus. MRI scans of patients with similar symptoms should be carefully studied to facilitate the early diagnosis of dural sinus thrombosis with increased intracranial pressure. Contrast-enhanced computed tomography scan and magnetic resonance imaging play a major role in determining diagnosis and treatment plans in this intracranial complications. Management included systemic antibiotics, short-term heparin anticoagulation and surgical decompression. In our patients intensive i.v. antibiotic treatment, steroids, anticoagulants and surgery led to a significant improvement in the clinical condition.

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