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Otolaryngol Pol. 2007;61(5):769-73. doi: 10.1016/S0030-6657(07)70523-1.

[Thrombophlebitis of venous sinuses in otitis media].

[Article in Polish]

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  • 1Katedra i Klinika Chorób Uszu, Nosa, Gardła i Krtani AM w Gdańsku.


Thrombophlebitis of dura venous sinuses is a rare intracranial complication of otitis media, which may be sometimes accompanied by symptoms or sepsis. Anatomical conditions and early diagnosis of this vascular complication determine the treatment modality. Aim of this study was the assessment of diagnostics and treatment of venous sinuses thrombophlebitis in acute and chronic otitis media considering anatomy and the venous sinuses and status of coagulation system. Otogenic thrombophlebitis may occur in lateral, transverse, upper and lower petrosal sinuses, and rarely in cavernous. In some cases thrombophlebitis proces may expand into brain or emissary mastoid veins. Lateral sinus thrombophlebitis in chronic otitis media usually appears clinically as septic fever, earache, and increasing neurologic signs. In acute otitis media when thrombophlebitis develops the patient complains about headache, high fever and visual acquity. Diagnosis of venous sinus thrombophlebitis is based on clinical signs, radiological imaging (CT scan, MRI), bacteriological examinations and laboratory biochemical tests. Contrast enhanced CT scan shows "delta sign". Septic thrombophlebitis sinus sigmoidei is caused by mixed bacterial flora. Surgical treatment in cases with septic thrombus consists of radical modiffied ear operation and lateral sinus exposure. Thrombectomy and jugular vein ligation is performed when sepsis or thrombus is present. Mastoidectomy and tympanic cavity drainage is performed in cases with lateral sinus thrombosis in acute mastoiditis. Intravenous antibiotics therapy should be continued for 2 weeks. Anticoagulants should be given taking into consideration parameters of coagulation system and the type of thrombus. Treatment results of venous sinuses thrombophlebitis are good if they are not accompanied by other intracranial complications.

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