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Cavernous sinus thrombophlebitis complicating sinusitis

Adnane Mohamed Berdai, Abdelkarim Shimi, Mohammed Khatouf

Am J Case Rep 2013; 14:99-102

DOI: 10.12659/AJCR.883875


Background: Thrombophlebitis of the cavernous sinus is a rare but serious disease that most often affects young adults and children. It is associated with significant morbidity or mortality and is often related to local infections of the head. The diagnosis is based on clinical findings and is confirmed by imaging.
Case Report: We report the case of a 17-year-old male with a history of recurrent sinusitis, who presented general signs of infection, orbital symptoms, and meningeal involvement. CT and MRI showed thrombosis of the cavernous sinus associated with cerebral ischemic damage. The therapeutic management included empiric antibiotic therapy, drainage of an orbital collection, and anticoagulation. The patient died later secondary to septic shock.
Conclusions: Although thrombophlebitis of the cavernous sinus is increasingly rare, it remains a lethal complication of sinusitis, and mortality is still high. The course of this disease can be dramatic due to infectious or vascular neurological complications. Early diagnosis and appropriate treatment are crucial.

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