Cerebral venous haemorrhagic infarction

Case contributed by Dr Bruno Di Muzio


Right neck pain.

Patient Data

Age: 23
Gender: Female

CT Brain

A large region of wedge-shaped hypodensity blurring the grey-white matter differentiation in the right temporoparietal region contains a moderate volume of parenchymal haemorrhage, which measures 5.8 x 3.7 x 2.7 cm. The right transverse sinus is hyperdense and shows thrombus in the venogram study. There is moderate mass effect, with effacement of the occipital horn of the right lateral ventricle, effacement of right-sided sulci and subfalcine herniation to the left of up to 5 mm at the septum pellucidum. No other regions of haemorrhage or loss of grey-white matter association. No hydrocephalus.

Filling defect in the right transverse sinus, extending to the sigmoid sinus, jugular bulb and upper right internal jugular vein. The superior sagittal sinus, straight sinus and left transverse sinus opacifies normally. The deep cerebral veins also opacified normally.

No skull fracture. The paranasal sinuses and mastoid air cells are clear.

Conclusion: Deep venous sinus thrombosis involving the right transverse and sigmoid sinuses, extending to the jugular bulb and a right internal jugular vein. Associated venous infarct and haemorrhage.


CT arterial angiogram was also performed and was normal (not shown). 


MRI Brain

A large ( 3.1 x 6.5 cm ) right temporal intraparenchymal haematoma with surrounding oedema is again demonstrated. Absence of flow in the right transverse, sigmoid and imaged superior internal jugular vein is again demonstrated in keeping with venous sinus thrombosis. Interpretation of the diffusion restriction images is limited by the haematoma however the area of infarction does not appear to extend beyond the haematoma.


Right transverse and sigmoid venous sinus thrombosis with associated venous infarct and haemorrhage again demonstrated.

Case Discussion

Venous sinus thrombosis is usually identified on non contrast CT, which is the first imaging investigation given the common nonspecific clinical presentation. It is challenging when not associated with venous haemorrhage or infarction as you must rely on the identification of an hyperdensity sinus, which could be trick sometimes. Things are easier in cases like the present one, where a typical venous haemorrhagic and infarction is present. 

As a result of the arterial supply to the infarcted tissue not being compromised, haemorrhagic transformation is common, and is typically heterogenous and gyriform

With contrast administration, especially with a CT venogram, then a filling defect in a sinus is sought. Multiplayer reformatted CT venography has been reported with a sensitivity of 95% for this diagnosis. 


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Case information

rID: 38461
Published: 23rd Jul 2015
Last edited: 18th May 2017
Tag: rmh
Inclusion in quiz mode: Included

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