Cerebral venous thrombosis is a rare entity in pregnancy and the postpartum period, with an incidence of 1:10,000 to 1:25,000.
A 19-year-old woman, gravida 1, para 1, presented to the emergency department on postpartum day 7, having experienced seizures. Severe preeclampsia had been diagnosed during the antepartum period. The patient initially was diagnosed with postpartum eclampsia and started on magnesium sulfate for seizure prophylaxis. Magnetic resonance imaging later showed cerebral venous thrombosis of the left transverse sinus and right frontal and left frontoparietal cortical veins.
Cerebral venous thrombosis and eclampsia may manifest in a similar manner. Physicians can optimize the care of patients presenting with seizures by considering etiologies rarer than eclampsia and pursuing tests that may distinguish them.
Distinguishing cerebral venous thrombosis from other rare entities such as eclampsia is pivotal to selecting the appropriate treatment.
From Madigan Army Medical Center, Tacoma, Washington.
Presented at the the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists' Armed Forces District Meeting, October 17–21, 2010, San Antonio, Texas.
The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not reflect the official policy or position of the Department of the Army, the Department of Defense, or the United States Government.
Corresponding author: Jason A. Pates, MD, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Madigan Army Medical Center, MCHJ-OG (ATTN: LTC Pates), Tacoma, WA 98431; e-mail: Jason.firstname.lastname@example.org.
Financial Disclosure The authors did not report any potential conflicts of interest.