Cerebral Venous Dural Sinus Thrombosis

Thrombosis of the dural venous sinuses is an unusual cause of stroke in HIT patients that was first reported by Stevenson (1976). Often, there is a second hypercoagulable state, such as pregnancy (Van der Weyden et al., 1983; Calhoun and Hesser, 1987) or myeloproliferative disease (Kyritsis et al., 1990), that may have interacted with HIT to cause this complication. Platelet-rich "white clots" were identified in the superior sagittal venous sinus in one necropsy study (Meyer-Lindenberg et al., 1997). Clinicians should have a high index of suspicion for dural sinus thrombosis when a patient develops progressive focal neurological signs, decreased level of consciousness, seizures, or headache during or soon after stopping heparin treatment (Beland et al., 1997; Pohl et al., 1999, 2000; Warkentin and Bernstein, 2003). Treatment includes immediate discontinuation of heparin, use of an alternative anticoagulant, and possibly, intravenous gammaglobulin (see Chapter 12).

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