Cerebral Venous Thrombosis | Symptoms & Causes

What are the symptoms of cerebral venous thrombosis?

The signs and symptoms of cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT) can vary depending on a child’s age. In newborns, CVT typically causes seizures, irritability and extreme sleepiness.

Children and adolescents with CVT tend to experience additional symptoms. These usually occur together and get worse as time passes:

  • severe headaches, which may cause nausea and vomiting
  • dizziness or lightheadedness
  • vision problems
  • weakness on one side of the body
  • progressive decline in mental status
  • seizures

What causes cerebral venous thrombosis?

A number of factors can increase a child’s risk of developing CVT. These include:

  • heart disease
  • sickle cell disease
  • cancer and certain types of chemotherapy
  • trauma
  • blood-clotting disorders
  • chronic infections, such as ear or sinus infections that don’t heal
  • serious infections, such as meningitis
  • dehydration
  • inflammatory bowel disease

Children with chronic conditions such as inflammatory bowel disease, systemic lupus erythematosus and Cushing’s syndrome appear to be more likely to develop CVT.