Pediatric otogenic sigmoid sinus thrombosis: 12-Year experience

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Objectives: Otogenic sigmoid sinus thrombosis is a rare complication of acute otitis media. Treatment remains controversial particularly regarding extent of surgical intervention. The aim of the study was to review the 12-year experience of a major medical center with the treatment of sigmoid sinus thrombosis in children. Methods: Retrospective case series identified by database review in a tertiary university-affiliated pediatric medical center. Twenty-four children aged 7-155 months were treated for sigmoid sinus thrombosis from 2000 through 2011. Results: The transverse sinus was also involved in 10 patients, and the jugular vein, in 4. Acute otitis media with mastoiditis was the causative factor in all cases. Subperiosteal abscess was diagnosed in 21 patients, 11 with epidural involvement. Treatment in all cases consisted of broad-spectrum antibiotics and ventilation tube insertion. Twenty-one children (87.5%) underwent mastoidectomy with removal of bone covering the sigmoid sinus to drain pus and remove granulations from the epidural cavity, without aspiration or sinus drainage. Twenty-two patients received low-molecular-weight heparin for 3-6 months postoperatively. Children infected with Fusobacterium necrophorum had a longer and more severe course with coexisting osteomyelitis. There were no neurologic sequelae or hematologic complications. Follow-up imaging, performed in 15 children, revealed partial or full recanalization in 87%. Conclusions: Relatively conservative surgical intervention appears to yield good results in children with sigmoid sinus thrombosis consequent to acute otitis media. Anticoagulants are safe if correctly administered and may prevent extension of the thrombus.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)930-933
Number of pages4
JournalInternational Journal of Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Jun 2014


  • Mastoiditis
  • Pediatric
  • Sigmoid sinus
  • Thrombosis


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