Research Article| Volume 29, ISSUE 4, 104683, April 2020

Cerebral Venous Thrombosis in Hematological Malignancy: Balancing the Risks


      Background and Aim: The coexistence of cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT) and hematological neoplasms is rare. Currently available therapeutic options raise problems concerning the balance of thrombotic and hemorrhagic risks. Our purpose is to characterize a series of cases of CVT and concomitant hematological malignancy, focusing on predisposing factors and treatment strategies. Methods: We performed a descriptive retrospective analysis of the cases of CVT and hematological neoplasms diagnosed in a tertiary center from 2006 to 2015. Results: From the 111 CVT cases diagnosed, only 7 coexisted with hematological malignancy (lymphoma, leukemia, multiple myeloma, and myelodysplastic syndromes). These included 4 women; median age was 44 years old. Median follow-up time was 72 days. The hematological condition was already known in 5 cases. Besides malignancy, we identified other prothrombotic conditions in all cases. Several anticoagulant strategies were used during the acute phase, after which 5 patients remained on warfarin indefinitely. One patient died due to cerebral hemorrhage during the acute phase. In the remaining 6 patients, there was no recurrence of CVT or other complications of anticoagulation. Conclusions: Although these results reiterate the role of hematological malignancy as predisposing factor to CVT, in all cases other factors contributed to CVT etiology, potentiating the risk. We report 1 death directly attributable to a fatal hemorrhagic complication of anticoagulation, evidencing the delicate balance of thrombotic and hemorrhagic risk. Nevertheless, most patients benefited of long-term anticoagulation, which proved a reasonable option. A multidisciplinary approach is paramount in making decisions regarding the time and type of anticoagulation.

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