Cerebral sinus thrombosis: a fatal neurological complication of ulcerative colitis

Patholog Res Int. 2010 Apr 29:2010:132754. doi: 10.4061/2010/132754.


Cerebral sinus thrombosis has been reported as an uncommon complication of ulcerative colitis (UC), occurring in up to 7.5% of cases. It is suspected to be a consequence of genetic predisposition and the hypercoagulable state occurring during disease relapse. We report a case of a 23-year-old male patient with one-year history of UC. He presented to the Emergency Room with left-sided progressive hemiparesis, numbness, hemiparesthesia, and pain, which followed a recent exacerbation of UC. The patient died 3 days after admission and an autopsy revealed superior and inferior sagittal sinus and cortical vein thrombosis with associated cerebral edema, hemorrhagic infarction, and herniation. The gastrointestinal tract had continuous cobblestone appearance extending from rectum to cecum, with hemorrhage and ulceration, consistent with active UC. Awareness of this rare complication of UC can contribute to early recognition and attempts at treatment of this serious and often fatal condition.

Publication types

  • Case Reports