Postoperative cerebral venous sinus thrombosis in the setting of surgery adjacent to the major dural venous sinuses

Carolina Gesteira Benjamin, Rajeev D. Sen, John G. Golfinos, Chandra Sen, J. Thomas Roland, Sean McMenomey, Donato Pacione

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE Cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) is a known complication of surgeries near the major dural venous sinuses. While the majority of CVSTs are asymptomatic, severe sinus thromboses can have devastating consequences. The objective of this study was to prospectively evaluate the true incidence and risk factors associated with postoperative CVST and comment on management strategies. METHODS A prospective study of 74 patients who underwent a retrosigmoid, translabyrinthine, or suboccipital approach for posterior fossa tumors, or a supratentorial craniotomy for parasagittal/falcine tumors, was performed. All patients underwent pre- and postoperative imaging to evaluate sinus patency. Demographic, clinical, and operative data were collected. Statistical analysis was performed to identify incidence and risk factors. RESULTS Twenty-four (32.4%) of 74 patients had postoperative MR venograms confirming CVST, and all were asymptomatic. No risk factors, including age (p = 0.352), BMI (p = 0.454), sex (p = 0.955), surgical approach (p = 0.909), length of surgery (p = 0.785), fluid balance (p = 0.943), mannitol use (p = 0.136), tumor type (p = 0.46, p = 0.321), or extent of resection (p = 0.253), were statistically correlated with thrombosis. All patients were treated conservatively, with only 1 patient receiving intravenous fluids. There were no instances of venous infarctions, hemorrhages, or neurological deficits. The rate of CSF leakage was significantly higher in the thrombosis group than in the nonthrombosis group (p = 0.01). CONCLUSIONS This prospective study shows that the radiographic incidence of postoperative CVST is higher than that previously reported in retrospective studies. In the absence of symptoms, these thromboses can be treated conservatively. While no risk factors were identified, there may be an association between postoperative CVST and CSF leak.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1317-1323
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of neurosurgery
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Cerebral venous sinus thrombosis
  • Lateral sinus thrombosis
  • Parasagittal tumors
  • Sinus thrombosis
  • Skull base tumors
  • Vascular disorders
  • Venous sinus thrombosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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