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Cavernous sinus thrombophlebitis masquerading as ischaemic stroke: a catastrophic pitfall in any emergency department
  1. Vei-Ken Seow1,
  2. Chee-Fah Chong1,
  3. Tzong-Luen Wang1,2,
  4. Chiu-Mei Lin1,
  5. I-Yin Lin1
  1. 1Emergency Department, Shin-Kong Wu Ho-Su Memorial Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan
  2. 2Fu Jen Catholic University, Taipei, Taiwan
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr I-Yin Lin
 Emergency Department, Shin Kong Wu Ho-Su Memorial Hospital, 95 Wen-Chang Road, Shih-Lin District, Taipei 11101, Taiwan; liniyin889{at}


Cavernous sinus thrombophlebitis is a clinically rare but fatal disease that progresses rapidly. Its initial presentation is always neglected by emergency physicians, until typical symptoms and signs are noted or thin-slice brain CT results obtained, by which time it is already too late. A case of cavernous sinus thrombophlebitis caused by sinusitis, which initially masqueraded as ischaemic stroke, is reported. Blindness of the left eye was the outcome. High suspicion, accurate diagnosis and aggressive antibiotic treatment are emphasised.

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  • Competing interests: None.

  • Informed consent was obtained from the patient for publication of her details in this paper.