transverse sinus stenosis

MRI findings of elevated intracranial pressure in cerebral venous thrombosis versus idiopathic intracranial hypertension with transverse sinus stenosis

Authors: Ridha MA, Saindane AM, Bruce BB, Riggeal BD, Kelly LP, Newman NJ, Biousse V.

PURPOSE: To determine whether MRI signs suggesting elevated intracranial pressure (ICP) are preferentially found in patients with idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) than in those with cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT).
METHODS: Among 240 patients who underwent standardized contrast-enhanced brain MRI/MRV at our institution between 9/2009 and 9/2011, 60 with abnormal imaging findings on MRV were included: 27 patients with definite IIH, 2 patients with presumed IIH, and 31 with definite CVT. Medical records were reviewed, and imaging studies were prospectively evaluated by the same neuroradiologist to assess for presence or absence of transverse sinus stenosis (TSS), site of CVT if present, posterior globe flattening, optic nerve sheath dilation/tortuosity, and the size/appearance of the sella turcica.
RESULTS: 29 IIH patients (28 women, 19 black, median-age 28, median-body mass index, 34) had bilateral TSS. 31 CVT patients (19 women, 13 black, median-age 46, median-BMI 29) had thrombosis of the sagittal (3), sigmoid (3), cavernous (1), unilateral transverse (7), or multiple (16) sinuses or cortical veins (1). Empty/partially-empty sellae were more common in IIH (3/29 and 24/29) than in CVT patients (1/31 and 19/31) (p<0.001). Flattening of the globes and dilation/tortuosity of the optic nerve sheaths were more common in IIH (20/29 and 18/29) than in CVT patients (13/31 and 5/31) (p<0.04).
CONCLUSION: Although abnormal imaging findings suggestive of raised ICP are more common in IIH, they are not specific for IIH and are found in patients with raised ICP from other causes such as CVT.

Visual and Neurological Outcomes Following Endovascular Stenting for Pseudotumor Cerebri Associated With Transverse Sinus Stenosis

Authors: Radvany MG, Solomon D, Nijjar S, Subramanian PS, Miller NR, Rigamonti D, Blitz A, Gailloud P, Moghekar A.

BACKGROUND:: Pseudotumor cerebri (PTC) is characterized by raised intracranial pressure (ICP) without an identifiable mass, evidence of hydrocephalus, or abnormal cerebrospinal fluid content. In the past, most cases of PTC appeared to have no identifiable etiology, and thus, they were classified as "idiopathic intracranial hypertension" (IIH). Recently, however, a subset of patients with presumed IIH has been found to have evidence of cerebral dural sinus stenoses, particularly involving one or both transverse sinuses (TS). The belief that the stenoses are the cause, rather than an effect of the increased ICP, has led investigators to recommend stenting of the stenosed sinus for the treatment of the condition. We describe detailed visual and neurological outcomes after stenting for PTC associated with hemodynamically significant dural sinus stenosis. METHODS:: All patients with PTC had initial neurological, neuro-ophthalmological, and imaging assessments. Regardless of the findings, all were treated with medical therapy. If medical therapy failed and TS stenosis was detected on contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance or computed tomographic venography, catheter cerebral angiography with venous manometry was performed. If a mean pressure gradient (MPG) of 4 mm Hg or greater was present, unilateral transverse sinus stenting was performed. RESULTS:: Twelve patients with PTC and TS stenosis associated with an MPG of >4 mm Hg who failed medical therapy were identified. TS stenting significantly decreased the pressure gradient in all cases. Unilateral stenting was sufficient to reduce pressure gradients even when the stenosis was bilateral. At a mean follow-up of 16 months (range, 9-36 months), tinnitus had improved in all patients, and 10 of 12 patients had improvement in visual function. Seven patients had significant improvement in headaches. CONCLUSION:: In this small series of patients with PTC associated with TS stenosis, endovascular stent placement was generally effective in treating visual dysfunction and tinnitus, although not headaches. The optimum gradient and vascular characteristics amenable for selection of patients for stenting needs further research.

Clinical course of idiopathic intracranial hypertension with transverse sinus stenosis

Authors: Riggeal BD, Bruce BB, Saindane AM, Ridha MA, Kelly LP, Newman NJ, Biousse V.

OBJECTIVE: Transverse sinus stenosis (TSS) is common in idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH), but its effect on the course and outcome of IIH is unknown. We evaluated differences in TSS characteristics between patients with IIH with "good" vs "poor" clinical courses.
METHODS: All patients with IIH seen in our institution after September 2009 who underwent a high-quality standardized brain magnetic resonance venogram (MRV) were included. Patients were categorized as having a good or poor clinical course based on medical record review. The location and percent of each TSS were determined for each patient, and were correlated to the clinical outcome.
RESULTS: We included 51 patients. Forty-six patients had bilateral TSS. The median average percent stenosis was 56%. Seventy-one percent of patients had stenoses >50%. Thirty-five of the 51 patients (69%) had no final visual field loss. Eight patients (16%) had a clinical course classified as poor. There was no difference in the average percent stenosis between those with good clinical courses vs those with poor courses (62% vs 56%, p = 0.44). There was no difference in the percent stenosis based on the visual field grade (p = 0.38). CSF opening pressure was not associated with either location or degree of TSS.
CONCLUSION: TSS is common, if not universal, among patients with IIH, and is almost always bilateral. There is no correlation between the degree of TSS and the clinical course, including visual field loss, among patients with IIH, suggesting that clinical features, not the degree of TSS, should be used to determine management in IIH.

Subscribe to RSS - transverse sinus stenosis