Cerebral venous thrombosis in Behçet's disease: a systematic review

J Neurol. 2011 May;258(5):719-27. doi: 10.1007/s00415-010-5885-9. Epub 2011 Jan 6.


Behçet's disease (BD) is a chronic inflammatory multisystem disorder which can involve the central nervous system (CNS). Cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT) is one of its major neurological manifestations. We aimed to review the epidemiologic and clinical features of CVT in patients with BD, as well as the available data on therapeutic interventions and prognosis. Systematic review of all observational studies of BD patients was done. Search strategy included electronic searches of MEDLINE (1966-August 2009). Occurrence of CVT in BD and Neuro-Behçet patients, occurrence of CVT as the inaugural manifestation of BD, clinical and neuro-imaging characteristics of CVT, prothrombotic evaluation, treatment options and prognosis were extracted. A meta-analysis of available results was performed when feasible. Twenty-three studies were included, with 290 cases of CVT in patients with BD. The incidence of CVT per 1,000 person-years was 3 (95% CI: 1-8), being higher in retrospective studies (3.2, 95% CI: 1-10) than in prospective studies (2.7, 95% CI: 1-13). Among patients with neurologic involvement, the incidence rate was 15.1/1,000 person-years. The onset was progressive in 77% of the patients. Intracranial hypertension syndrome was a frequent presentation of CVT in BD. The most frequent sites of occlusion were the superior sagittal and the transverse sinus. Most of the studies did not evaluate the prevalence of prothrombotic disorders. Treated CVT was associated with a good prognosis. CVT is a frequent neurological manifestation of BD. When treated, BD-associated CVT bears a good prognosis. There is insufficient information regarding the role of concomitant prothrombotic disorders and specific treatments.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Behcet Syndrome / complications*
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Intracranial Thrombosis / epidemiology*
  • Intracranial Thrombosis / etiology*
  • Venous Thrombosis / epidemiology*
  • Venous Thrombosis / etiology*