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Distinguishing dural sinus thrombosis from benign intracranial hypertension
  1. S Khandelwal1,
  2. C D Miller2
  1. 1Department of Emergency Medicine, The Ohio State University College of Medicine and Public Health, Columbus, Ohio, USA
  2. 2Department of Emergency Medicine, Wake Forest University School of Medicine, Winston-Salem, NC, USA
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr S Khandelwal
 Department of Clinical Emergency Medicine, The Ohio State University, 167 Means Hall, 1654 Upham Drive, Columbus, Ohio 43210, USA;


Dural sinus thrombosis (DST) is a life threatening illness and is often overlooked but it must be considered in the differential diagnosis of a patient presenting with a significant headache. DST presents similarly to benign intracranial hypertension (BIH) with intracranial hypertension and headache. A case of a 23 year old woman with DST is described that was initially diagnosed as BIH. A Medline search to determine the examination of a patient with suspected BIH or DST yielded several articles on this topic but only two brief case reports in the emergency medicine literature. Any patient with suspected DST or BIH must have a confirmatory magnetic resonance imaging and magnetic resonance venography study. Treatment of DST seems to be effective, considerably different from BIH, and lack of treatment may lead to increased morbidity and mortality.

  • benign cranial hypertension
  • dural sinus thrombosis
  • DST, dural sinus thrombosis
  • BIH, benign intracranial hypertension
  • SSS, superior sagital sinus
  • CT, computed tomography
  • MRI, magnetic resonance imaging
  • MRV, magnetic resonance venography
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  • Drs Khandelwal and Miller shared equally in the research and writing of the case report.

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