The outer linings of the brain and spinal cord are called the dura mater. There are areas within the skull where these linings abut one another and form partitions for the brain. Within these partitions, venous sinuses are formed. They provide channels where venous blood can return to the heart from the brain. Certain conditions or diseases occur that can cause these sinuses to become clotted. The obstruction can be partial or complete. In the most severe form, venous infarctions or strokes occur in the brain. They pressure within the brain may become elevated. Death may occur.
Causes of Dural Venous Thrombosis
Trauma may lead to injuries that deform the sinuses. They may become clotted off. Infections such as ear infections, may spread to the epidural space where the sinus becomes occluded. Hypercoagulation states sometimes occur with pregnancy, cancer, and dehydration.
Signs and Symptoms of Dural Venous Thrombosis
Symptoms depend on which sinuses are obstructed and the degree of obstruction. When the sagittal sinus is obstructed, sensory and motor areas of the brain are affected. There may be weakness, numbness, or seizures. Sinuses draining the brainstem can lead to altered consciousness, visual problems, and weakness. Elevated pressures within the brain produces headache, nausea, vomiting, and visual problems due to changes in the optic nerves. In the most severe cases, coma and death may occur.
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Medical Content Last Updated on 07/12/2008
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