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Dural puncture: an overlooked cause of cerebral venous thrombosis


Cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT) accounts for 0.5–1 % of all strokes. Although dural puncture is proposed as one of the rare risk factors, this association has only been mentioned in anecdotal reports. Headache, i.e., usually the first and the most frequent clinical symptom on admission, is often attributed to the dural puncture itself. We investigated the frequency of CVT following a recent dural puncture in our stroke database, together with the other risk factors. The computerized medical records of patients (n = 10,740) registered in our tertiary-care neurology clinic stroke database were reviewed retrospectively. Patients diagnosed with CVT were reanalyzed. Patients who had a dural puncture in the preceding 7 days were included in the study. A total of 46 patients were diagnosed with CVT. Nine patients (19.6 %) had a recent dural puncture before the onset of the symptoms. Patients were younger than 45 years and had at least one more predisposing condition for thromboembolism other than the dural puncture. All patients have received either spinal anesthesia or intrathecal chemotherapy. Dural puncture seems to trigger CVT particularly in patients with predisposing disorders. Although reported as an extremely rare complication, our data indicate a much higher association. This case series emphasize the importance of reevaluation of patients with persistent/progressive headache following dural puncture. The effect of change in the biochemical composition of CSF due to intrathecal drug administration in pathogenesis is not known. Larger controlled trials are warranted to clarify the causal relationship between lumbar puncture and/or intrathecal drug administration and CVT.

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The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest to declare and nothing to disclose.

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Correspondence to Bedile Irem Tiftikcioglu.

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Guner, D., Tiftikcioglu, B.I., Uludag, I.F. et al. Dural puncture: an overlooked cause of cerebral venous thrombosis. Acta Neurol Belg 115, 53–57 (2015).

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  • Dural puncture
  • Lumbar puncture
  • Cerebral venous thrombosis
  • Complication
  • Headache