Cerebral venous thrombosis [CVT] is a challenging condition because of the variability of clinical presentations. CVT can present at all ages, but is seen more in young and middle-aged women.
CVT does not necessarily occur only when there is an obvious underlying etiology. In almost 30% of cases, the etiology cannot be established. CVT can present with an acute thunderclap headache, fever, seizures, focal deficits, impaired sensorium, or papilloedema. Headache is known to be the most frequently associated initial complaint, and is present in more than 80% of patients, but it is not always remembered that headache can be the sole presenting complaint of CVT and even when early papilloedema is absent. Headache can occur in isolation in up to 5% of CVT cases. There is no identifiable, uniform, recognizable pattern of headache in CVT, but this article discusses the "Headache Profile" that is seen more commonly in this setting with an illustration of one such case where the innocuous headache turned sinister. Magnetic resonance imaging with venography is the investigation of choice to diagnose CVT; computed tomography alone will miss a significant number of cases. One must keep in mind the possibility of CVT in every patient who presents with new-onset headache of any type, any severity, and in any location, particularly when there is worsening in spite of analgesics. Earlier the diagnosis, earlier the treatment, better is the outcome
Krishnamurthy Ravishankar ,
Incidence and pattern of headache in cerebral venous thrombosis,
J. Pak. Med. Assoc. 2006;
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