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J Headache Pain. 2010 Apr;11(2):137-9. doi: 10.1007/s10194-010-0186-3. Epub 2010 Jan 29.

Headache in Cerebral Venous Thrombosis: incidence, pattern and location in 200 consecutive patients.

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  • 1Department of Medicine/Neurology, The Aga Khan University, Karachi, Pakistan.


We analyzed the incidence, pattern and location of headache in consecutive 200 patients with proven diagnosis of CVT to identify an association between localization of headache and site of sinus involvement. Headache was present in 136 (68%) patients. The duration of headache (reported in 128 patients) was reported as acute (1-3 days), 81 patients (60%); sub-acute (4-14 days), 33 patients (24%); and chronic (more than 14 days), 14 patients (10%). The quality of headache (reported in 72 patients) was reported as throbbing 12 (9%), band like 27 (20%), thunderclap 7 (5%), and other (pounding, exploding, stabbing, etc.) 26 (20%). The location of headache (reported in 101 patients) was reported as unilateral (one side of head) 48 (37%), localized (frontal, temporal, occipital, and neck) 25 (19%), and diffuse (whole head) 28 (20%). 43 (32%) patients had normal neurological examination (normal mental status, cranial nerves, motor and sensory examination with down going planters). 93 (68%) patients have abnormal findings on neurological examination including papilledema 29 (15%) patients, altered mental status 38 (19%), and focal neurological deficit 45 (22%) patients. There was no association between headache and presence of hemorrhage on CT and MRI (P = 0.1) or hydrocephalus (P = 0.09). There was no association between localization of headache and site of sinus thrombosis except sigmoid sinus thrombosis, where 17 out of 28 patients with involvement of sigmoid sinus alone or in combination with transverse sinus had pain in the occipital and neck region (P < 0.05). There was no association between lateralization of pain and site of thrombosis (P = 0.66).

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