All neurologists need to be able to recognise and treat cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT). It is difficult to diagnose, partly due to its relative rarity, its multiple and various clinical manifestations (different from ‘conventional’ stroke, and often mimicking other acute neurological conditions), and because it is often challenging to obtain and interpret optimal and timely brain imaging. Although CVT can result in death or permanent disability, it generally has a favourable prognosis if diagnosed and treated early. Neurologists involved in stroke care therefore also need to be aware of the treatments for CVT (with varying degrees of supporting evidence): the mainstay is prompt anticoagulation but patients who deteriorate despite treatment can be considered for endovascular procedures (endovascular thrombolysis or thrombectomy) or neurosurgery (decompressive craniotomy). This review summarises current knowledge on the risk factors, diagnosis, treatment and prognosis of CVT in adults, and highlights some areas for future research.
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