JOURNAL ARTICLE
RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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Cerebral venous thrombosis in adults. A study of 40 cases from Saudi Arabia.

BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: We undertook this study to determine the frequency, clinical patterns, and etiologies of cerebral venous thrombosis in a Middle Eastern country.

METHODS: Records of all adults patients admitted with an angiographically documented diagnosis of cerebral venous thrombosis from 1985 through 1994 in two major hospitals of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, were reviewed.

RESULTS: Forty patients (20 men, 20 women) aged 16 to 40 years were identified. Hospital frequency was 7 per 100,000 patients, and the relative frequency against arterial strokes was 1:62.5. Nineteen cases (47%) had a clinical picture of pseudotumor cerebri. Behçet's disease was the cause in 10 cases (25%). Other causes included antiphospholipid antibodies in 4, protein S deficiency in 3, intracranial tumors in 3, systemic lupus erythematosus in 3, infections in 3, antithrombin III deficiency in 2, postpartum in 1, and oral contraceptives in 1.

CONCLUSIONS: Cerebral venous thrombosis in adults is not uncommon in Saudi Arabia. Behçet's disease is the single most common etiology. Infection is no longer an important cause, whereas "new" coagulation disorders are common. Patients with a pseudotumor cerebri syndrome should undergo angiography or brain MRI before being labeled idiopathic.

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