Otogenic lateral sinus thrombosis in children: proposal of an experience-based treatment flowchart

Alessandro Scorpecci, Michela Massoud, Sara Giannantonio, Paola Zangari, Daniela Lucidi, Francesco Martines, Silvia Foligno, Giovina Di Felice, Antonio Minozzi, Matteo Luciani, Pasquale Marsella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


PURPOSE: To describe the prevalent clinical, laboratory, and radiological features of otogenic lateral sinus thrombosis (OLST) in children; to identify clinical predictors of outcome; to propose a management algorithm derived from experience.

METHODS: A retrospective review was conducted of the clinical records of patients with OLST, treated in a single tertiary care referral center for pediatric disease from 2006 to 2017. The inclusion criteria were pediatric age (0-16 years) and OLST diagnosis confirmed by a pre- and post-contrast CT or venography-MRI scan. Primary outcome measures were early (1-2 months) and late (6 months) sinus recanalization assessed by means of neuroimaging.

RESULTS: Twenty-five patients (8 females and 17 males; mean age = 6 ± 3 years) were included. A genetic abnormality associated with thrombophilia was found in 24 (96%) patients. At diagnosis, anticoagulant treatment with low-molecular-weight heparin (LMWH) was started in all subjects, while surgical treatment (mastoidectomy and tympanostomy tube insertion) was performed in 16/25 (64%) patients. Follow-up neuroimaging showed lateral sinus recanalization in 12/25 (48%) patients after 1-2 months and in 17/25 (68%) after 6 months. At multivariate logistic regression analysis, no significant predictors of the early and late neuroradiological outcome were found.

CONCLUSIONS: All children with OLST should be screened for thrombophilia to decide on treatment duration and to assess the need for future antithrombotic prophylaxis. Immediately after diagnosis, anticoagulant treatment with LMWH should be started according to the international guidelines. Instead, our experience suggests that surgical treatment should not be indicated in all patients, but decided on a case-to-case basis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1971-1977
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Archives of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2018


  • Adolescent
  • Anticoagulants
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Consciousness Disorders/etiology
  • Cranial Nerve Diseases/etiology
  • Decision Support Techniques
  • Factor V/genetics
  • Female
  • Headache/etiology
  • Heparin, Low-Molecular-Weight
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Lateral Sinus Thrombosis/diagnosis
  • Male
  • Mastoidectomy
  • Mastoiditis/complications
  • Methylenetetrahydrofolate Reductase (NADPH2)/genetics
  • Middle Ear Ventilation
  • Mutation
  • Otitis Media/complications
  • Protein S Deficiency/genetics
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Thrombophilia/diagnosis


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