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Cerebral Venous Sinus Thrombosis (CVST)

What is cerebral venous sinus thrombosis?

Cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) is a rare form of stroke that occurs when a blood clot forms in the venous sinuses of the brain. This causes pressure to build in the brain, leading to a hemorrhage. 

What are the symptoms of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis?

Depending on where exactly the clot forms, symptoms will differ. Possible symptoms include:

  • Headache
  • Blurred vision
  • Seizures
  • Coma
  • Loss of movement control
  • Fainting

What causes cerebral venous sinus thrombosis?

A clot in the brain’s venous sinuses causes this condition, and it can happen to both children and adults. Doctors have identified a number of risk factors as well. For children, these include sickle cell anemia, dehydration, chronic hemolytic anemia, problems with blood clotting, beta-thalassemia major, iron deficiency, heart disease, head injury, and certain infections. For adults, risk factors include pregnancy and the weeks following delivery, obesity, inflammatory bowel disease, cancer, issues with blood clotting, low blood pressure in the brain, and collagen vascular diseases. 

How is cerebral venous sinus thrombosis diagnosed?

When one has a stroke, they should be brought in for immediate medical attention. Doctors will ask about medical history before performing a physical exam, along with asking about the specific symptoms of the stroke. Imaging tests are then used to see the blood flow in the brain, and blood tests may be used as well. 

What are the treatments for cerebral venous sinus thrombosis?

Someone with CVST should be taken to the hospital right away if they have had a stroke. Here, they will be treated with anticoagulants, fluids, surgery, and rehabilitation. Doctors will also treat other symptoms if they appear. For example, antibiotics will be administered if an infection is present. Doctors will also continue to monitor brain activity and blood flow, as they will need to control the pressure in one’s head. 

Where can I find out more about cerebral venous sinus thrombosis?

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