Cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) with thrombocytopenia is characterized by a blood clot in the brain and a platelet count that’s lower than normal. Prompt medical attention is crucial to lower the risk of complications.
Cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) with thrombocytopenia is a combination of two conditions: CVST and thrombocytopenia. This condition is an extremely rare side effect of
CVST is a blood clot in the venous sinuses of your brain. These sinuses are major blood vessels where blood drains from your brain. The name of the condition can be broken up into four parts:
- Cerebral: related to the cerebrum, the largest part of the brain.
- Venous: related to blood vessels that return blood to the heart.
- Sinus: related to a cavity in the body.
- Thrombosis: a blood clot.
Thrombocytopenia is when you have a low platelet count. Platelets are specialized blood cells that help your blood clot.
Read on to learn more about CVST with thrombocytopenia, including what causes it, symptoms, and treatment options.
CVST is often considered a type of stroke. By far, the
Other symptoms depend on where the blood clot is located and how big it is. Symptoms may include:
- nausea and vomiting
- changes in mental status
- impaired movement
- trouble speaking
- vision problems
- loss of consciousness
- oral contraceptive use
- infections such as meningitis or brain abscess
- head trauma
- conditions that increase blood clotting
Thrombocytopenia is a condition characterized by a platelet count that’s lower than normal. It impairs your blood’s ability to clot and can cause symptoms such as:
- prolonged and heavy bleeding
- small red spots under the skin called petechiae
- easy bruising
- frequent nosebleeds or bleeding from gums
- blood in your urine or stool
- heavy menstruation
Thrombocytopenia has many potential
- conditions that cause your blood to clot such as thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura
- autoimmune disease
- aplastic anemia, a rare blood disorder
- enlarged spleen
- some types of surgery, such as bypass surgery
- exposure to chemicals, such as some pesticides and benzene
- high alcohol consumption
- some medications
CVST and thrombocytopenia together
- head and neck infections
- head injuries
- connective tissue disorders
- bleeding disorders
- history of blood clots
Blood clots with thrombocytopenia have also been reported as a side effect of the liver medication
Additionally, CVST with thrombocytopenia may be a very rare side effect of adenoviral vector COVID-19 vaccines. It’s thought that the underlying cause is an immune reaction that leads to platelet activation.
CVST and thrombocytopenia rarely occur together from other causes. In a
Researchers have found evidence that CVST with thrombocytopenia is a very rare side effect of adenoviral vector vaccines. These vaccines include the AstraZeneca vaccine and the Johnson & Johnson/Janssen vaccine.
Vaccine-induced CVST with thrombocytopenia may develop 4 to 42 days after vaccination.
CVST with thrombocytopenia hasn’t been identified as a side effect of the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines. The World Health Organization (WHO) identified 756 cases of CVST without thrombocytopenia among 1.2 million administrations of Pfizer or Moderna.
Risk of CVST from COVID-19 and COVID-19 vaccines
CVST is much more common among people with COVID-19 than those who receive COVID-19 vaccines.
In one 2021 study, researchers found the rates of CVST were 88 people per 100,000 during the pandemic and 30 to 40 people per 100,000 before the pandemic.
The risk of developing CVST after COVID-19 vaccination is extremely low, and vaccines can help prevent serious cases of COVID-19.
Doctors can diagnose thrombocytopenia with a blood test that measures the number of platelets in a sample of your blood. They can also measure levels of other substances that suggest a blood clotting condition such as fibrinogen or D-dimer.
Doctors can diagnose CVST with imaging. The most common
Other treatments include:
- plasma exchange for people with severe disease
- treatments for specific side effects such as:
- acetazolamide or shunts to reduce intracranial pressure
- antiepileptic medications for seizures
- treatments to stop bleeding
Prompt medical attention is needed to treat CVST with thrombocytopenia to minimize the risk of developing severe complications. According to a CDC
- 29.6% had a good recovery.
- 25% developed moderate disability.
- 13.6% developed severe disability or vegetative state.
- 31.8% died.
CVST with thrombocytopenia is characterized by a blood clot in the brain and a platelet count that’s lower than normal. Research suggests it’s a rare side effect of adenoviral vector COVID-19 vaccines and the medication heparin.
Prompt treatment is needed for CVST with thrombocytopenia. It’s vital that you call 911 or local emergency services if you or somebody else develops potential symptoms such as headaches, blurry vision, or seizures with no known cause.