Safety and validity of mechanical thrombectomy and thrombolysis on severe cerebral venous sinus thrombosis

Neurosurgery. 2013 May;72(5):730-8; discussion 730. doi: 10.1227/NEU.0b013e318285c1d3.


Background: Although the majority of patients with cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) obtain an optimistic clinical outcome after heparin or warfarin treatment, there remains a subgroup of patients who do not respond to conventional anticoagulation treatment. These patients, especially younger people, as documented by hospital-based studies, have a high morbidity and mortality rate.

Objective: To verify the safety and efficacy of a dual mechanical thrombectomy with thrombolysis treatment modality option in patients with severe CVST.

Methods: Fifty-two patients diagnosed with CVST were enrolled and treated with mechanical thrombectomy combined with thrombolysis. Patients underwent urokinase 100 to 1500 × 10 IU intravenous sinus injection via a jugular catheter after confirming diagnoses of CVST by using either magnetic resonance imaging/magnetic resonance venography or digital subtract angiography. Information obtained on the patients included recanalization status of venous sinuses as evaluated by magnetic resonance venography or digital subtract angiography at admission, during operation, and at 3- and 6-month follow-up after treatment.

Results: The percentage of patients that showed complete and partial recanalization were 87% and 6%, respectively, after mechanical thrombectomy combined with thrombolysis treatment; 8% of the patients showed no recanalization. The modified Rankin Scale scores were 1.0 ± 0.9, 0.85 ± 0.63, and 0.37 ± 0.53 for discharge, and 3- and 6-month follow-up, respectively. A total of 6 patients died despite receiving aggressive treatment. No cases of relapse occurred after 3 to 6 months of follow-up.

Conclusion: Thrombectomy combined with thrombolysis is a safe and valid treatment modality to use in severe CVST cases or in intractable patients that have shown no adequate response to antithrombotic drugs.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Child
  • Combined Modality Therapy
  • Female
  • Fibrinolytic Agents / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radiography
  • Sinus Thrombosis, Intracranial / diagnostic imaging*
  • Sinus Thrombosis, Intracranial / therapy*
  • Thrombectomy / adverse effects*
  • Thrombectomy / methods*
  • Thrombolytic Therapy / adverse effects*
  • Thrombolytic Therapy / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome
  • Urokinase-Type Plasminogen Activator / therapeutic use*
  • Young Adult


  • Fibrinolytic Agents
  • Urokinase-Type Plasminogen Activator