Septic cerebral venous sinus thrombosis

Ismail A. Khatri, Mohammad Wasay

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

44 Citations (Scopus)


Septic cerebral venous sinus thrombosis, once a common and deadly disease, has fortunately become rare now. Not only that the incidence has fallen significantly after the antibiotic era, the morbidity and mortality has also decreased substantially. Cavernous sinus thrombosis is by far the commonest form of septic cerebral venous sinus thrombosis. Due to its rare occurrence, a lot of current generation clinicians have not encountered the entity in person. Despite all the advances in diagnostic modalities, a high index of clinical suspicion remains the mainstay in prompt diagnosis and management of this potentially lethal condition. Keeping this in view, the authors have reviewed the subject including the old literature and have summarized the current approach to diagnosis and management. Septic cavernous thrombosis is a fulminant disease with dramatic presentation in most cases comprised of fever, periorbital pain and swelling, associated with systemic symptoms and signs. The preceding infection is usually in the central face or paranasal sinuses. The disease rapidly spreads to contralateral side and if remains undiagnosed and untreated can result in severe complications or even death. Prompt diagnosis using radiological imaging in suspected patient, early use of broad spectrum antibiotics, and judicial use of anticoagulation may save the life and prevent disability. Surgery is used only to treat the nidus of infection.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)221-227
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the Neurological Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2016


  • Anticoagulation
  • Cavernous sinus thrombosis
  • Cerebral venous thrombosis
  • Diagnosis
  • Management
  • Septic


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