Cerebral Venous Sinus Thrombosis
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What is Cerebral Venous Sinus Thrombosis?
Cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) is a rare form of stroke that can occur in adults and children. A blood clot forms in the brain’s venous sinuses, which then prevents blood from draining out of the brain. This causes pressure to build in the blood vessels and can lead to swelling and bleeding in the brain.
Symptoms of Cerebral Venous Sinus Thrombosis
Symptoms can vary based on where the blood clot forms, but may include:
- Severe headache
- Nausea and vomiting
- Weakness or numbness in your face, arm, or leg, especially on one side of the body
- Difficulty seeing, talking, or understanding
- Difficulty with balance or walking
- Dizziness or loss of coordination
- Loss of consciousness
Causes of Cerebral Venous Sinus Thrombosis
Sometimes the cause is not clear, but CVST can be caused by:
- Medications that contain estrogen
- Elevated levels of estrogen in pregnancy and post-pregnancy
- Tamoxifen and chemotherapy drugs
- Clotting disorders (inherited and acquired)
UR Medicine's Treatments for Cerebral Venous Sinus Thrombosis
If you experience any of the above symptoms, call 911. Following a hospital evaluation, you should be scheduled for prompt neurological care follow-up. Our Comprehensive Stroke Center clinic can provide this care.
Your provider will do a physical exam and ask about your health history. To see how the blood is flowing in the brain, they may do the following tests:
- Computed tomography scan (CT or CAT scan), combining x-rays and computer technology to produce detailed images of the body
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), using large magnets, radiofrequencies, and a computer to produce detailed images of the body
- Venography, to view blood flow through veins
- Angiography, to visualize blood vessels
- Blood tests
Treatment will vary with each patient, but may include:
- Medicine to control seizures
- Monitoring and controlling the pressure inside the head
- Medicine to stop the blood from clotting (anticoagulants)
- Continued monitoring of brain activity
What Sets Us Apart?
UR Medicine offers advanced stroke treatments that are not available at most hospitals.
UR Medicine's Comprehensive Stroke Center offers world-class treatment and prevention of stroke, including the Rochester region’s only state-of-the art Mobile Stroke Unit and a dedicated Neuromedicine Intensive Care Unit.
Our highly trained, nationally recognized stroke and neurocritical care team provides comprehensive care for all types of stroke and cerebrovascular diseases (related to blood flow in the brain).
State-of-the-art neuroimaging capabilities and immediate access to all subspecialists offer patients the most sophisticated medical and surgical treatments for the best outcomes.
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