Cavernous Sinus Thrombosis

Also Known As:


What is Cavernous Sinus Thrombosis?

Thrombosis is a general term describing the condition that occurs when a blood clot develops within a blood vessel, causing the blood flow to be restricted or completely stopped. This blockage causes pressure to build up, and can result in very serious life threatening issues.

Cavernous Sinus Thrombosis is a rare type of Thrombosis that occurs in the Cavernous Sinus. The cavernous sinuses are hollow spaces located at the base of your brain and behind your eye sockets. They allow major veins to drain blood from your brain and face.

When an infection in the nose, mouth, or head moves into the cavernous sinuses, the body creates a blood clot to try to stop the infection from spreading. However, this clot can restrict the blood flow from your brain, potentially damaging your brain, eyes and nerves.


70 percent of Cavernous Sinus Thrombosis cases are triggered by a Golden Staph infection. Other factors that could lead to Cavernous Sinus Thrombosis include:
•   Sinusitis
•   Streptococcus Bacteria
•   Abscesses or boils
•   Dental infections
•   Ear infections
•   Infections following a facial procedure or surgery
•   Severe head injuries
•   Fungal infections
•   An underlying health condition or medication that increases the risk of Thrombosis
•   Autoimmune conditions such as Lupus


The symptoms of Cavernous Sinus Thrombosis normally appear about 5 to 10 days after the infection is developed the head. Possible symptoms include:
•   Swelling, redness, or irritation around one or both eyes
•   Protruding eyes
•   Inability to move the eye
•   Nasal discharge and pain
•   Altered mental status that can range from confusion to coma
•   Seizures
•   Severe headache or facial pain, especially around your eyes
•   Fever of 38°C (100.4°F) or above
•   Blurred or double vision
•   Eye muscle paralysis, leading to drooping eyelids or difficulty moving your eyes
•   Vomiting

Diagnosis & Treatment

Cavernous Sinus Thrombosis is diagnosed by a Doctor using a physical examination, blood tests and scans. The Doctor may order the following tests:
•   X-Ray Scan
•   Blood Culture
•   Sinus Culture
•   CT Scan
•   MRI Scan
•   Venogram
•   Cerebrospinal fluid culture (Lumbar Puncture)

Cavernous Sinus Thrombosis is life threatening and should be treated as a medical emergency.
Treatment will be determined by the location and type of underlying infection, as well as any associated complications. Treatments may include:
•   Antibiotics
•   Surgical drainage with Sphenoidotomy
•   Anticoagulant Medications
•   Corticosteroids

Additional Information

Also see: Thrombosis

Medical Disclaimer

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Published Date:

13th December 2018


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