Long-term outcome after cerebral venous thrombosis: analysis of functional and vocational outcome, residual symptoms, and adverse events in 161 patients
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- Hiltunen, S., Putaala, J., Haapaniemi, E. et al. J Neurol (2016) 263: 477. doi:10.1007/s00415-015-7996-9
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Cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT) affects mainly working-aged individuals. Functional recovery after CVT is generally considered good with about 3/4 of patients achieving short-term independence. However, vascular events, long-term functional outcome, and employment after CVT remain poorly investigated. We identified consecutive adult CVT patients treated at the Helsinki University Hospital (1987–2013) and invited them to a follow-up visit. Each clinical examination was combined with interview. We also recorded recurrent venous thromboembolism (VTE) and hemorrhagic events during follow-up and antithrombotic medication use. A modified Rankin Scale (mRS) served to assess functional outcome. Logistic regression served to identify independent factors associated with unemployment and functional recovery. Of the 195 patients identified, 21 died, 9 declined to participate, and 4 were excluded from the study. Thus, 161 patients (106 women) underwent an examination after a median of 39 months (interquartile range 14–95). VTE (one of which was CVT) occurred in 9 (6 %) patients, and severe hemorrhagic events in 10 (6 %). Functional outcome was good, with 84 % scoring 0–1 on the mRS; 42 % reported residual symptoms. Altogether, 91 (57 %) patients were employed. After adjusting for age and sex, a National Institutes of Health Stroke Scale score >2 at admission and low education level, associated with both unfavorable functional outcome and unemployment. Long-term functional outcome after CVT may appear good if measured with mRS, but patients often have residual symptoms and are frequently unable to return to their previous work.