Unilateral venous thalamic infarction in a child mimicking a thalamic tumor

J Child Neurol. 2009 Jan;24(1):105-9. doi: 10.1177/0883073808321055.


Unilateral thalamic infarction is a rare condition in adults. This is a case report of a young child presenting with left-sided hemiparesis of sudden onset due to an unilateral venous thalamic infarction. This was attributed to an asymmetric thrombosis of the cerebral internal veins, a partial thrombosis of the vein of Galen and straight sinus. Magnetic resonance imaging resulted primarily in the differential diagnosis of a cerebral tumor or an intracerebral abscess, leading to stereotactic puncture. Subsequent magnetic resonance venography facilitated the correct diagnosis. Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia necessitated anticoagulation treatment with hirudin and later, warfarin. The patient made a complete recovery. We conclude that unclear unilateral thalamic lesions might be symptomatic of a cerebral deep venous thrombosis and might mimic a thalamic tumor. In uncertain cases, we suggest rapid performance of magnetic resonance angiography.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Brain Infarction / pathology*
  • Brain Neoplasms / diagnosis
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality*
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Intracranial Thrombosis
  • Magnetic Resonance Angiography / methods
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods
  • Thalamus / pathology*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed / methods
  • Venous Thrombosis / pathology*