Features of dural sinus thrombosis simulating pseudotumor cerebri

Eur J Neurol. 1999 Sep;6(5):601-4. doi: 10.1046/j.1468-1331.1999.650601.x.


To characterize dural sinus thrombosis (DST) patients presenting with a syndrome simulating pseudotumor cerebri (PTC), medical records of patients initially diagnosed as having PTC between 1980 and 1995 were analysed. Inclusion criteria were intracranial hypertension (IH) and a normal initial computed tomography (CT) scan. All patients underwent angiography or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and magnetic resonance venography (MRV). Patients with IH secondary to a determined disorder were excluded from the study. Forty-six patients were included, 12 patients had MRI/MRV or angiography findings compatible with DST and the remaining 34 patients had no vascular pathology on neuroimaging studies and were considered to have PTC. No clinical or auxiliary findings differed between the two groups except for younger age, which delineated the PTC patients. Two patients with DST died during the study. Both were agitated, had a relatively rapid course of symptom progression, and a CSF pressure of over 40 cm water. We conclude that DST can be identified in 26% of patients presenting with symptoms and signs typical of PTC. It may be impossible to differentiate between patients with and without DST if MRI/MRV or angiography are not performed in this scenario.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cerebral Angiography
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Pseudotumor Cerebri / diagnosis*
  • Pseudotumor Cerebri / diagnostic imaging
  • Risk Factors
  • Sinus Thrombosis, Intracranial / diagnosis*
  • Sinus Thrombosis, Intracranial / diagnostic imaging
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed