Cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) occurs when a blood clot forms in the brain’s venous sinuses. This prevents blood from draining out of the brain. As a result, blood cells may break and leak blood into the brain tissues, forming a hemorrhage.
This chain of events is part of a stroke that can occur in adults and children. It can occur even in newborns and babies in the womb. A stroke can damage the brain and central nervous system. A stroke is serious and requires immediate medical attention.
This condition may also be called cerebral sinovenous thrombosis.
CVST is a rare form of stroke. It affects about 5 people in 1 million each year. The risk for this kind of stroke in newborns is greatest during the first month. Overall, about 3 out of 300,000 children and teens up to age 18 will have a stroke.
Children and adults have different risk factors for CVST.
Risk factors for children and infants include:
Risk factors for adults include:
Symptoms of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis may vary, depending on the location of the thrombus. Responding quickly to these symptoms makes it more possible to recover.
These are the physical symptoms that may occur:
People who have had any type of stroke recover best if they get treatment immediately. If you suspect a stroke based on the symptoms, have someone take you immediately to the emergency room, or call 911 to get help.
Doctors typically take a medical history and do a physical exam. Family and friends can describe the symptoms they saw, especially if the person who had the stroke is unconscious. The final diagnosis, however, is usually made based on how the blood is flowing in the brain. Imaging tests show areas of blood flow. These tests may be used to diagnose venous sinus thrombosis:
Treatment should begin immediately and must be done in a hospital. A treatment plan could include:
Complications of venous sinus thrombosis include:
You can do a lot to prevent stroke by leading a heart healthy lifestyle:
What you need to do to recover and then stay healthy after CVST will depend on how the stroke affected your brain. Everyone can benefit from a healthy diet and exercise.
You may also need to participate in a special rehabilitation program or physical therapy, if you have lost some movement or speech.
Other possible effects of the stroke, such as headaches or changes in vision, can be treated by specialists.
If you have had this type of stroke, you may need to avoid certain types of medicines, such as oral contraceptives. These can increase your risk for blood clots.
Cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) occurs when a blood clot forms in the brain’s venous sinuses
If you have cerebral venous sinus thrombosis:
Manage your other chronic health issues, such as diabetes or high blood pressure.
Tips to help you get the most from a visit to your healthcare provider:
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