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Cerebral Venous and Dural Sinus Thrombosis
  1. José M. Ferro,
  2. Patrícia Canhão
  1. Stroke Unit, Department of Neurology, Hospital de Santa Maria, 1649–035 Lisbon, Portugal; E-mail: jmferro{at}


Although our brain has many more veins than arteries, thrombosis of the cerebral veins and dural venous sinuses (cerebral venous thrombosis, or CVT) is much less frequent than arterial occlusion. It is also more difficult to diagnose because of the wide spectrum of clinical presentation and the need for magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and/or catheter angiography to confirm the diagnosis. Indeed, the diagnosis can be delayed days or even weeks after the onset of neurological symptoms, and after the patient has been seen by several physicians (Ferro et al. 2001). But CVT is not just a neurological curiosity, to be managed only by academic neurologists. It can complicate the course of several systemic diseases and also pregnancy. Therefore, it should be of concern to internists, haematologists, oncologists, obstetricians, and emergency and intensive care physicians.


The annual incidence in adults is 0.22/100 000 (Ferro et al. 2001) so about 5

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