Cerebral cortical and deep venous thrombosis without sinus thrombosis: clinical MRI correlates

A Sagduyu, H Sirin, S Mulayim, F Bademkiran, N Yunten, O Kitis, C Calli, T Dalbasti, E Kumral
Acta Neurologica Scandinavica 2006, 114 (4): 254-60

BACKGROUND: Cortical and/or deep vein thrombosis (CDVT) without dural sinus involvement is uncommon and presents diagnostic difficulty for many reasons. Our aim is to determine the relationship between magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) findings and clinical findings in patients with CDVT.

METHODS: Forty-six patients with venous stroke proved on MRI included in our Registry, corresponding to 0.1% of 4650 patients with stroke, were studied. Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) was performed in all patients, and 18 of them had follow-up MRA. Outcome was evaluated by using the Glasgow Outcome Scale at the time of discharge and during follow-up.

RESULTS: Thirty-two patients presented cortical venous stroke; 21 of them had involvement of the dorsomedial venous system, six had a defect in the posteroinferior venous group, and five had a defect in the anteroinferior venous group. Thirteen patients presented simultaneous involvement of the superficial and deep venous system; seven with a defect in the parietal and internal cerebral veins (three with involvement of vein of Gallen), four with a defect in the temporooccipital (vein of Labbé) and basal vein of Rosenthal, two with a deficit in the anterior frontotemporal and uncal-pterygoid venous system. One patient had deep venous thrombosis primarily localized to the thalami bilaterally and the basal ganglia on the right because of occlusion of the thalamostriate veins. The main presenting symptoms of CDVT were headache, focal neurologic signs, partial complex or secondary generalized seizures, and consciousness disturbances in those with deep venous thrombosis, presented alone or in combination at onset. CDVT was more than twofold more frequent in women than in men. Pregnancy, puerperium, oral contraceptive use, and infections were the most common predisposing factors.

CONCLUSION: Computerized tomography, conventional MRI and diffusion-weighted imaging showing ischemic and/or hemorrhagic lesion that does not follow the boundary of classical arterial boundaries without signs of sinus thrombosis, and partial or generalized seizures followed by focal neurologic signs may predict CDVT. The outcome of patients with cortical venous stroke was good, but not in those with cortical plus deep venous infarction.

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