An early diagnosis and heparin therapy have contributed to a decreased mortality in cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT). However, predictors of outcome are difficult to identify, because most studies suffered heterogeneity in diagnostic findings and treatments, retrospective design, and recruitment bias. The aim of this study was to evaluate the clinical outcome in 55 consecutive patients with CVT admitted over a 4-year period. The study population consisted of 42 women and 13 men, with a median age of 39 years (range 16-68). The diagnosis was performed with MRI in 53 patients, and angiography in 2. The outcome was assessed with the modified Rankin scale (mRs). After a median follow-up of 36 months (range: 12-60), 45 patients were independent (mRS 0-2), and 10 were dependent or dead (mRS 3-6). Of 48 survivors, 7 had seizures, 6 motor deficits, 5 visual field defects, 29 headache (migraine in 14, tension headache in 13, other in 2). The logistic regression analysis found focal deficits and cancer at time of diagnosis, as independent predictors of dependence or death at year 3, and isolated intra-cranial hypertension as an independent predictor of survival and independence. Mortality rates are low in the absence of cancer and focal deficits, and more than 80 % of survivors are independent after 3 years. However, 3/4 of survivors have residual symptoms. Therefore, despite a low mortality rate, CVT remains a serious disorder.