• Cavernous sinus thrombosis may occur as a complication of infectious and noninfectious processes. Septic thrombosis of the cavernous sinuses most commonly follows infections of the middle third of the face due to Staphylococcus aureus. Other antecedent sites of infection include paranasal (usually sphenoid) sinusitis, dental abscess and, less often, otitis media. Fever is a nearly constant finding, but headache may not be prominent. Periorbital edema, chemosis, proptosis, and limitation of extraocular movements (especially lateral gaze) develop in almost all recognized cases. Involvement of the opposite eye frequently appears within two days following the onset of unilateral signs. Although computed tomography may be helpful, magnetic resonance imaging is probably the diagnostic procedure of choice. Treatment includes appropriate antibiotics and, oftentimes, surgical drainage of the primary focus of infection. Less than half of the patients recover completely; the mortality rate is approximately 30%.
DiNubile MJ. Septic Thrombosis of the Cavernous Sinuses. Arch Neurol. 1988;45(5):567–572. doi:10.1001/archneur.1988.00520290103022
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