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Otol Neurotol. 2005 Sep;26(5):1045-51.

Diagnosis and management of lateral sinus thrombosis.

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Department of Otolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgery, Columbia University, New York, New York 10032, USA.



To define the contemporary management of septic otogenic lateral sinus thrombosis.


Retrospective case series identified through database search of otologic surgical cases managed by a single surgeon in four teaching hospitals over a 6-year period.


Twelve patients presenting with lateral sinus thrombosis of otogenic cause were the subjects of this study. Patients with incomplete medical records or unknown outcomes were excluded.


Lateral sinus thrombosis was the result of chronic otitis media in 50% of cases, with five of these patients having cholesteatoma. In addition, there were seven associated intracranial complications in six patients in this series. All patients underwent medical and surgical treatment. Aggressive and early surgical treatment was tailored to the degree of preoperative and intraoperative findings. The sigmoid sinus was resected in six of the patients with a variable degree of inferior margin proportional to the extent of thrombosis. Thrombectomy alone under vascular control with reestablishment of flow was used to remove the septic thrombus in the other six patients. There were no complications in these patients.


Early and aggressive surgical intervention of this otogenic complication can potentially minimize mortality, hospital stay, and length of medical treatment.

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