Cerebral sinovenous thrombosis in pediatric practice

Pediatr Radiol. 2013 Jan;43(2):173-88. doi: 10.1007/s00247-012-2486-z. Epub 2012 Dec 1.


Cerebral sinovenous thrombosis (CSVT) in the pediatric population is a relatively uncommon yet under-appreciated and potentially life-threatening neurological condition. Early symptoms and signs are often vague and the clinician requesting a cranial imaging study might not even suspect sinovenous thrombosis. If left undiagnosed, or if the diagnosis of CSVT is delayed, progressive neurological deterioration, coma and death can follow. The purpose of this review is to highlight pertinent development of the cerebral venous system, discuss the causal factors of cerebral sinovenous thrombosis in the pediatric population, review practical imaging strategies using cranial sonography augmented with color and pulsed Doppler, unenhanced brain CT, CT venography, cerebral MRI, and MR venography (MRV). Finally, this review will illustrate the imaging features of sinovenous thrombosis, including a discussion of the common causes of false-positive and false-negative CT and MRI studies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Cerebral Angiography / methods*
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Humans
  • Image Enhancement / methods*
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Male
  • Sinus Thrombosis, Intracranial / diagnosis*