UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Neurology

Title: Cavernous Sinus Thrombosis - Part I

Keywords: cavernous sinus thrombosis, etraocular palsy, extraocular motions, sinus infections, sinusitis (PubMed Search)

Posted: 2/18/2009 by Aisha Liferidge, MD (Updated: 9/24/2021)
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  • Cavernous sinus thrombosis, one of the three dural sinus thrombosis syndromes, is extremely rare and results from infection often originating from the face, sinuses, dental cavity, ears, and mastoids.
  • Cranial nerves III, IV, V1, V2, and VI course along the walls of the cavernous sinus such that extraocular motion abnormalities (palsy/paralysis) commonly manifest with cavernous sinus thrombosis.
  • Headache (usually sharp, unilateral, and in the distribution of V1 and V2 branches) is typically the initial presenting symptom, followed by eom palsy, mydriasis, diplopia, periorbital edema, visual abnormalities, mental status deficit, and coma.