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Stroke. 1999 Mar;30(3):484-8.

Randomized, placebo-controlled trial of anticoagulant treatment with low-molecular-weight heparin for cerebral sinus thrombosis.

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Leyenburg Hospital, The Hague Centre, Amsterdam, The Netherlands.



Treatment of cerebral sinus thrombosis with heparin is controversial. We conducted a double-blind, placebo-controlled multicenter trial to examine whether anticoagulant treatment improves outcome in patients with sinus thrombosis.


Patients were randomized between body weight-adjusted subcutaneous nadroparin (180 anti-factor Xa units/kg per 24 hours) and matching placebo for 3 weeks (double-blind part of trial), followed by 3 months of oral anticoagulants for patients allocated nadroparin (open part). Patients with cerebral hemorrhage caused by sinus thrombosis were also included.


Sixty patients were enrolled, and none were lost to follow-up. In 1 patient the diagnosis proved wrong after randomization. After 3 weeks, 6 of 30 patients (20%) in the nadroparin group and 7 of 29 patients (24%) in the placebo group had a poor outcome, defined as death or Barthel Index score of <15 (risk difference, -4%; 95% CI, -25 to 17%; NS). After 12 weeks, 4 of 30 patients (13%) in the nadroparin group and 6 of 29 (21%) in the placebo group had a poor outcome, defined as death or Oxford Handicap Score of >/=3 (risk difference, -7%; 95% CI, -26% to 12%; NS). There were no new symptomatic cerebral hemorrhages. One patient in the nadroparin group had a major gastrointestinal hemorrhage, and 1 patient in the placebo group died from clinically suspected pulmonary embolism.


Patients with cerebral sinus thrombosis treated with anticoagulants (low-molecular-weight heparin followed by oral anticoagulation) had a favorable outcome more often than controls, but the difference was not statistically significant. Anticoagulation proved to be safe, even in patients with cerebral hemorrhage.

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