Cerebral venous thrombosis

8th December, 2020 • 2 min read

Cerebral venous thrombosis is a blood clot in a vein in your brain, which can lead to a stroke.

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It’s more likely to happen if you have an increased risk of getting blood clots, such as if you’re pregnant, have certain genetic conditions or are taking medicines like oral contraceptives.

It’s also more common if you’re dehydrated or have widespread cancer.

If you have cerebral venous thrombosis, you may develop a headache that can sometimes feel really bad. For some people, this headache may come on gradually or suddenly (like you’ve been hit in the head).

You may also:

  • feel or be sick
  • have headaches
  • have fits
  • notice muscle weakness that affects different parts of your body, and struggle to speak or move
  • faint or feel dizzy
  • feel confused

How is cerebral venous thrombosis diagnosed and treated?

Cerebral venous thrombosis is an emergency condition that needs urgent medical treatment. If you think you have it, call an ambulance immediately. If you can’t, ask someone nearby to call one for you.

A doctor will usually perform imaging tests, like a

MRI scan
to diagnose cerebral venous thrombosis. You may also need blood tests to check if your blood is clotting normally.

If you have cerebral venous thrombosis, you’ll typically be treated in the same way as someone who has had a

. More specifically, you may be given medication to thin your blood and medication for treating fits, if you’ve had one.

Important: Our website provides useful information but is not a substitute for medical advice. You should always seek the advice of your doctor when making decisions about your health.