Nonabducent Cranial Neuropathies in Cerebral Venous Sinus Thrombosis: A Case Report and Literature Review

Nandakumar Nagaraja, Sibiya Sabu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) can rarely present with cranial neuropathies other than abducent nerve palsy. The authors report a case and review the literature for nonabducent cranial neuropathies in CVST. Case Report: A 22-year-old woman with a history of oral contraceptive use developed right-sided headache, blurred vision, and dizziness for 4 days. Magnetic resonance venogram showed complete thrombosis of the right transverse sinus, sigmoid sinus, and internal jugular vein, and partial thrombosis of the superior sagittal sinus, left transverse sinus, and superior part of the left internal jugular vein. Hypercoagulable workup revealed heterozygous factor V Leiden mutation. About 2 weeks after symptom onset, she developed right facial droop and left eye ptosis. Examination revealed bilateral papilledema, partial left ptosis, complete right abducent, and right peripheral facial palsies. Acetazolamide 250 mg 2 times per day was initiated for the treatment of headache. Three days after starting acetazolamide left ptosis, right facial and abducent palsies improved that continued to get better with only slight deficits at discharge 4 weeks from symptom onset. Follow-up computed tomography venogram on day 24 showed partial recanalization of CVST. Conclusion: A systematic review identified 26 patients from 21 articles with nonabducent cranial neuropathies. Seven patients had lower motor neuron facial palsy, 13 patients had hearing loss or vertigo with vestibulocochlear involvement, and 6 patients had other mixed cranial nerve palsies with CVST. They are usually associated with transverse sinus and/or sigmoid sinus thrombosis. They have a good prognosis with improvement and complete resolution of cranial neuropathies in most cases usually in 1 month.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)90-97
Number of pages8
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 5 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Neurology


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