Contribution of multiple thrombophilic and transient risk factors in the development of cerebral venous thrombosis

Eduard J Libourel, Min Ki ten Kate, Jan-Leendert P Brouwer, Nic J G M Veeger, Jan van der Meer
Thrombosis Research 2007, 121 (3): 301-7

INTRODUCTION: Cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT), deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and/or pulmonary embolism (PE) have been associated with thrombophilic defects. However, in contrast to DVT or PE, CVT is a rare disease. We performed a study to identify differences in thrombotic risk profile, predisposing to CVT rather than DVT or PE, particularly the contribution of oral contraception and 11 thrombophilic defects.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: A single center case-control study (63 CVT cases and 209 controls with DVT or PE) was performed.

RESULTS: Of CVT patients, 11% had experienced prior DVT or PE, and none had recurrent CVT at 5 years follow-up. CVT was more frequently observed in females (79% versus 51%, P<0.001). It was more often secondary (75% versus 50%, P<0.001), mainly due to the difference in age between both groups. At presentation of CVT and DVT/PE, oral contraceptives were used by 78% and 74% of non-pregnant fertile women (P=0.8), respectively. Any thrombophilic defect was demonstrated in 88% of CVT and 75% of DVT/PE patients (P=0.22), sex and age matched. Individual and two or more defects were equally distributed among both groups.

CONCLUSIONS: We conclude that a majority of CVT and DVT or PE patients show single or multiple thrombophilic defects. At presentation, oral contraceptive intake was observed more frequently in CVT patients. However, no differences were observed in thrombotic risk profile between both groups of comparable age. Hence, additional unknown risk factors should be considered to explain the different sites of thrombosis in these patients.

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