Cerebral sinus thrombosis diagnosed by MRI and MR venography in cancer patients

Jeffrey J. Raizer*, Lisa M. DeAngelis

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

91 Scopus citations


Objective: To report the characteristics of cerebral sinus thrombosis (CST) in cancer patients diagnosed by MRI and MR venography (MRV). Background: CST is a complication of cancer with multiple etiologies and variable symptoms at presentation. Most reports in cancer patients were before the use of MRI and MRV, which has simplified the diagnosis of CST. Methods: The neurology database at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center was used to identify cancer patients with a diagnosis of CST between January 1994 and April 1998. Results: Twenty patients were identified. Nine had hematologic malignancies (HMs) and 11 had solid tumors (STs). The median interval from cancer diagnosis to presentation was 4 months for HMs and 20 months for STs. The most common symptom was headache. MRI and MRV correlated in all but three patients, and MRV was more sensitive in four patients. The most frequently involved cerebral sinus was the superior sagittal sinus. Multiple sinuses were affected in 8 of 19 patients. Five patients had a cerebral or subarachnoid hemorrhage and three had infarction. Disorders of coagulation were the most frequent etiology in patients with HM; compression or invasion of the cerebral sinus from dural/calvarial metastasis was the main cause in those with ST. Treatment was directed at the underlying cause. Ten of 20 patients improved clinically and 3 of 6 patients improved radiologically. Conclusion: MRI and MRV can diagnose CST accurately in cancer patients. Causes of CST depend on cancer type, and treatment varies with etiology. Most patients have a good outcome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1222-1226
Number of pages5
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 28 2000


  • Cancer
  • MRI
  • Magnetic resonance venography
  • Sinus thrombosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology

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