Endovascular treatment of traumatic dural sinus thrombosis: Case report

Todd A. Kuether, Oisin O'Neill, Gary M. Nesbit, Stanley L. Barnwell

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


OBJECTIVE: Dural sinus thrombosis has rarely been associated with closed head injury. We present a unique case involving the use of endovascular thrombolysis in the treatment of traumatic dural sinus thrombosis, which has not been reported. CLINICAL PRESENTATION: A 20-year-old male patient suffered a severe closed head injury while skiing. He developed refractory elevated intracranial pressure requiring barbiturate coma. Angiography demonstrated thrombosis of the dominant right transverse and sigmoid sinuses, with partial thrombosis of the superior sagittal sinus. Urokinase was administered via a microcatheter within the thrombus as a bolus of 250,000 units and then as a continuous infusion of 60,000 to 100,000 units per hour for 48 hours. The patient was maintained in a barbiturate coma and heparinized. Serial angiography was performed to assess the sinus patency and efficacy of thrombolysis. RESULTS: After 48 hours of thrombolysis, angiography demonstrated normal patency of the superior sagittal, right transverse, and right sigmoid sinuses. The intracranial pressure decreased after thrombolysis and was manageable with conventional techniques. Within 48 hours of the completed thrombolysis, the barbiturates were withdrawn and the patient's neurological status rapidly improved until the time of discharge 2 weeks later. DISCUSSION AND CONCLUSION: This case documents a rare instance of traumatic dural sinus thrombosis resulting from a closed head injury. In addition, endovascular thrombolysis resulted in subsequent opening of the dural sinuses and effective intracranial pressure management, despite the presence of a hemorrhagic contusion. Heparin was effective in maintaining sinus patency and was used safely in conjunction with urokinase in this setting of head injury.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1163-1167
Number of pages5
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1998


  • Dural sinus thrombosis
  • Thrombolysis
  • Trauma
  • Urokinase

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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