Risk Factors for Cerebral Venous Thrombosis

Suzanne M Silvis, Saskia Middeldorp, Susanna M Zuurbier, Suzanne C Cannegieter, Jonathan M Coutinho
Seminars in Thrombosis and Hemostasis 2016, 42 (6): 622-31
Cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT) is a rare thrombotic disorder involving the cerebral veins and dural sinuses. In contrast to more common sites of venous thromboembolism (VTE), such as the legs and lungs, CVT mainly affects young adults and children, and women are affected three times more often than men. Although presenting symptoms are variable, headache is usually the first symptom, often in combination with focal neurologic deficits and epileptic seizures. The primary therapy for CVT consists of heparin followed by oral anticoagulation for at least 3 to 6 months. The mortality in the acute phase is 5 to 10% and a substantial proportion of survivors suffer from long-term disabilities. A large number of risk factors have been linked to CVT, although the scientific evidence for an association varies considerably between risk factors. Some risk factors, such as hereditary thrombophilia, correspond with risk factors for more common sites of VTE, whereas others, such as head trauma, are specific to CVT. In most patients, at least one risk factor can be identified. In this review, we provide an overview of the risk factors for CVT.

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