Cerebral venous sinus thrombosis after vestibular schwannoma surgery: a call for evidence-based management guidelines.

 2018 Jul;45(1):E4. doi: 10.3171/2018.4.FOCUS18112.

Cerebral venous sinus thrombosis after vestibular schwannoma surgery: a call for evidence-based management guidelines.


OBJECTIVE Postoperative cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) is an uncommon complication of posterior fossa surgery. The true incidence of and optimal management strategy for this entity are largely unknown. Herein, the authors report their institutional incidence and management experience of postoperative CVST after vestibular schwannoma surgery. METHODS The authors undertook a retrospective review of all vestibular schwannoma cases that had been treated with microsurgical resection at a single institution from December 2011 to September 2017. Patient and tumor characteristics, risk factors, length of stay, surgical approaches, sinus characteristics, CVST management, complications, and follow-up were analyzed. RESULTS A total of 116 patients underwent resection of vestibular schwannoma. The incidence of postoperative CVST was 6.0% (7 patients). All 7 patients developed lateral CVST ipsilateral to the lesion. Four cases occurred after translabyrinthine approaches, 3 occurred after retrosigmoid approaches, and none occurred following middle cranial fossa approaches. Patients were managed with anticoagulation or antiplatelet therapy. Although patients were generally asymptomatic, one patient experienced intraparenchymal hemorrhage, epidural hemorrhage, and obstructive hydrocephalus, likely as a result of the anticoagulation therapy. However, all 7 patients had a modified Rankin scale score of 1 at the last follow-up. CONCLUSIONS Postoperative CVST is an infrequent complication, with an incidence of 6.0% among 116 patients who had undergone vestibular schwannoma surgery at one institution. Moreover, the management of postoperative CVST with anticoagulation therapy poses a serious dilemma to neurosurgeons. Given the paucity of reports in the literature and the low incidence of CVST, additional studies are needed to better understand the cause of thrombus formation and help to establish evidence-based guidelines for CVST management and prevention.


ASA = acetylsalicylic acid; CTV = CT venography; CVST = cerebral venous sinus thrombosis; EVD = external ventricular drain; LOS = length of stay; MRV = MR venography; acoustic neuroma; cerebral venous sinus thrombosis; complication; evidence-based medicine; mRS = modified Rankin Scale; middle cranial fossa; retrosigmoid; translabyrinthine; vestibular schwannomas









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