Cavernous sinus thrombosis is a blood clot in an area at the base of the brain.
The cavernous sinus receives blood from veins of the face and brain. The blood drains it into other blood vessels that carry it back to the heart. This area also contains nerves that control vision and eye movements.
Cavernous sinus thrombosis is most often caused by a bacterial infection that has spread from the sinuses, teeth, ears, eyes, nose, or skin of the face.
You are more likely to develop this condition if you have an increased risk of blood clots.
Exams and Tests
Tests that may be ordered include:
Cavernous sinus thrombosis is treated with high-dose antibiotics given through a vein (IV) if an infection is the cause.
Blood thinners help dissolve the blood clot and prevent it from getting worse or recurring.
Surgery is sometimes needed to drain the infection.
Cavernous sinus thrombosis can lead to death if left untreated.
When to Contact a Medical Professional
Call your health care provider right away if you have:
Durand ML. Periocular infections. In: Bennett JE, Dolin R, Blaser MJ, eds. Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's Principles and Practice of Infectious Diseases, Updated Edition. 8th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2015:chap 118.
Nath A, Berger J. Brain abscess and parameningeal infections. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 25th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier Saunders; 2016:chap 413.