Septic thrombosis of the cavernous sinuses

Arch Intern Med. 2001 Dec;161(22):2671-6. doi: 10.1001/archinte.161.22.2671.


Septic thrombosis of the cavernous sinuses (or cavernous sinus thrombophlebitis [CST]) is a dramatic and potentially lethal illness, which is still occasionally seen by clinicians. Before the availability of antimicrobial agents, mortality from CST was near 100%, but it markedly decreased to approximately 20% to 30% during the antibiotic era. Nevertheless, the threat of death and serious morbidity continues to necessitate early recognition, diagnosis, and treatment of CST to minimize risks to the patient. Accordingly, we reviewed the salient clinical features of this illness, with emphasis on newer aspects of diagnosis and treatment.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Cavernous Sinus Thrombosis* / diagnosis
  • Cavernous Sinus Thrombosis* / drug therapy
  • Cavernous Sinus Thrombosis* / etiology
  • Cavernous Sinus Thrombosis* / mortality
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Diagnostic Imaging
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Morbidity
  • Pneumococcal Infections / diagnosis
  • Staphylococcal Infections / diagnosis


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents