Small juxtacortical hemorrhages in cerebral venous thrombosis

Ann Neurol. 2014 Jun;75(6):908-16. doi: 10.1002/ana.24180. Epub 2014 May 28.


Objective: Intracerebral hemorrhages (ICHs) are common in patients with cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT). We examined whether small juxtacortical hemorrhages (JCHs) are characteristic for CVT and studied their radiological and pathological properties.

Methods: We identified all patients with CVT and an ICH at baseline admitted between 2000 and 2011 (prospectively from July 2006). JCH was defined as a hemorrhage (diameter < 20mm) located in the white matter just below the cortex. To determine the specificity of JCHs for CVT, we examined the frequency of JCHs in a control group of patients of similar age with an ICH not related to CVT.

Results: Of 114 patients with CVT, 53 had an ICH. JCHs were present in 14 of the 53 (26%). The remaining 39 had other kinds of hemorrhages. Papilledema was more common among patients with a JCH compared to patients with other types of ICHs (44% vs 9%, p = 0.01). All patients with a JCH except 1 had thrombosis of the superior sagittal sinus, compared to 49% of patients with CVT and other kinds of hemorrhages (p = 0.004). Reanalysis of all imaging data and histopathologic analysis in 1 patient showed that JCHs are located near the U-fibers and that they follow the curvature of the cortex. Among 196 control patients (spontaneous ICH, not caused by CVT), only 3 patients had a JCH. One of these 3 appeared on re-examination of all imaging results to have had CVT.

Interpretation: Small nontraumatic JCHs are a characteristic feature of CVT and are rarely encountered in other conditions.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / diagnosis
  • Cerebral Hemorrhage / etiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Thrombosis / complications*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Tomography Scanners, X-Ray Computed
  • Venous Thrombosis / complications*