All About Venous Sinus Thrombosis

Thrombosis is becoming quite a burden in the United States. Innovation in treatments is badly needed to lessen the impact of venous sinus thrombosis, atrial fibrillation and stroke which is caused by thrombosis. According to studies, the absence of medical breakthroughs can lead to the increase of such cases. In fact, atrial fibrillation cases alone can increase up to 12 million by the year 2050.

At present, more than 1.8 million Americans experience venous sinus thrombosis, atrial fibrillation and stroke. According to statistics, 900,000 fatal, non-fatal, and recurrent venous sinus thrombosis events occur yearly. Also, around 200,000 cases recorded are new. In addition more than 2.66 million Americans suffered from atrial fibrillation since 2000 wherein 75,000 Americans suffer yearly. The risk of having this disease is 1 in 4 for men and women aged 40 and above. Lastly, around 800,000 Americans aged 20 and above experienced stroke. Estimates of 610,000 cases are first time strokes while 185,000 cases are recurrent attacks.

Due to these diseases, 600,000 people die yearly while those who survived face continued episodes of disability and illness. Moreover, these diseases are not only deadly but costly as well. The survivors need to attend regular appointments while some are confined for a long period that results to high hospital bills.

What is Thrombosis?
To avoid experiencing such cases, it is important to understand the main cause which is thrombosis. This is the formation of clot inside a blood vessel most often a vein due to a slowing of the circulation or the blood’s increased tendency to clot accompanied by injury. It commonly affects the long saphenous vein inside the thigh.

All About Venous Sinus ThrombosisThere are two types of thrombosis which are presented in several subtypes. First is venous thrombosis, the formation of blood clots in a vein. It includes:

  • Budd-Chiari syndrome
  • Cerebral venous sinus thrombosis
  • Deep vein thrombosis
  • Jugular vein Thrombosis
  • Paget-Schroetter disease
  • Portal vein thrombosis
  • Renal vein thrombosis

The second type is called arterial thrombosis or the formation of blood clots in an artery. There are two diseases under this type namely:

  • Arterial embolus
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Stroke

The main symptoms of thrombosis are local swelling and pain. Complications may arise, wherein a detachment of a piece of the clot to from an embolus which may be carried by the circulation to various parts of the body especially to the lungs. The treatment for thrombosis in the thigh or leg is complete bed rest for about for about a week, with a cradle over the foot of the bed to remove the weight of the bed clothes, as well as cold applications to relieve the pain. To overcome clotting tendencies, anticoagulant drugs are often prescribed, but the victim must be watched carefully because of the possibility of excessive bleeding.

Symptoms and Medications
As mentioned, venous sinus thrombosis is a rare type of stroke caused by thrombosis. It is commonly known as cerebral venous thrombosis sinus or CVST. There various symptoms and types of people at risk.

First, pregnant women and patients who have a medical history of blood clotting are at risk of developing such disease. However, there are other symptoms that contribute to the assumption of having this disease that includes:

  • 90% of patients report headache
  • blurred vision
  • coma
  • fainting
  • seizures
  • inability to control movement of a body part

Complications may lead to:

  • brain injury
  • extreme headache
  • impaired speech
  • increased fluid pressure in the skull
  • nerve pressures
  • problems with vision
  • inability to control parts of the body
  • death

The headaches that patients experience are not ordinary and can become severe causing cough, nausea and stiff neck. A patient also experiences isolated CSF protein elevation, high CSF pressure at Lumbar Puncture and visual obscurations.

The incidence of this type of thrombosis increases according to age. For instance, in 100,000 people aged 15 and below 100 of them experience 5 cases while in 100,000 people aged 80 and above 100 of them experience 500 cases.

If the symptoms persist and a person feels he is developing venous sinus thrombosis, he must undergo an examination. The preferred examination is CT Venography or MR Venography. This one depends on the recommendation of a physician. Nevertheless, there are various hospitals and physicians available to help patients. It is not advisable to wait for a long period before undergoing examinations.

In fact, around 900,000 Americans experience this disease; however, only 250,000 patients are hospitalized receiving the proper treatment. In addition, an estimate of 300,000 patients dies due to venous sinus thrombosis each year wherein 59% of the patients develop undetected pulmonary embolism. Furthermore, of the 200,000 new cases recorded, 30% die in a period of 30 days while 20% abruptly dies after developing pulmonary embolism. Lastly, 30% of the survivors develop Venous Thromboembolism Epidemiology in 10 years.

Statistics shows that many are not responsible enough to seek the advice of physicians at an early stage. Setting an appointment during early signs can lead to proper treatment. Doctors do physical exams and analyze medical history. A patient must enumerate all the symptoms, so that a clear diagnosis and proper tests are done. Moreover, Blood tests, CT scan, MRI scan and vascular ultrasound for infants are recommended.

Once diagnosed with venous sinus thrombosis, treatment must begin. The treatment for this disease must be done in a hospital. Drinking antibiotics, fluids and undergoing anti-seizure medication is necessary. Patients can also undergo therapeutic measures such as using anticoagulants with a dose of intravenous heparin or low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) and symptomatic therapy for controlling seizures and intracranial pressure. In addition, continued brain activity monitoring and pressure inside the skull as well as rehabilitation is needed.

After undergoing treatment and getting discharged from the hospital, monitoring and follow-ups are essential. Follow the doctor’s orders on what to do, what to eat and what medicines to take. Continued anti-coagulation for a certain period may be recommended by the doctor.

However, to prevent future attracts or avoid venous sinus thrombosis, people can start from living a healthy lifestyle. Instead of eating fatty food, people must increase fruits and vegetable intake. Lastly, do not smoke cigarettes and commit to a 15-minute-daily-exercise program instead.

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