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Original research
Manual aspiration thrombectomy for cerebral venous sinus thrombosis
  1. Brian Thomas Jankowitz1,
  2. Lance Matukas Bodily2,
  3. Mouhammad Jumaa3,
  4. Zaidi F Syed3,
  5. Tudor G Jovin3
  1. 1Department of Neurological Surgery, UPMC, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
  2. 2University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
  3. 3Department of Neurology, UPMC, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr B T Jankowitz, Department of Neurological Surgery, UPMC Presbyterian Suite B-400, 200 Lothrop Street, Pittsburgh, PA 15213, USA; jankbt{at}


Background Hydration and anticoagulation are the standard of care for cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) but some patients remain refractory to medical management and warrant more aggressive therapy. Here we present the technique of endovascular transvenous manual aspiration thrombectomy (MAT) in six patients.

Objective Present an alternative technique for endovascular transvenous thrombectomy in a series of CVST patients.

Methods We reviewed the records of six patients with medically refractory CVST. Transvenous access via the femoral vein was used to advance an aspiration catheter of varying internal diameter (0.044, 0.054, 0.057, 0.070, 0.072) up to and through the thrombus. Tissue plasminogen activator was administered in select cases. Manual aspiration with a 20 ml syringe applied to the catheter hub was applied as the catheter was slowly retracted. Presentation, technique, and outcome were evaluated.

Results Clinical presentation included vomiting, dehydration, mental status changes, headaches, and acute motor deficits. On imaging, four of the six patients had hemorrhage, edema, and mass effect present before treatment, while two had edema only. All patients demonstrated continued deterioration despite early and aggressive medical anticoagulation therapy, warranting aggressive intervention. Aspiration of the superior sagittal sinus, transverse sinuses, straight sinus, sigmoid sinus, and internal jugular vein were performed in this series. There were no procedural complications. Revascularization was achieved in all instances. A modified Rankin Scale score of 1–3 was attained in 5/6 patients, while one patient died.

Conclusions In this series, transvenous MAT was a safe, simple, and effective revascularization technique to treat patients with CVST who remained refractory to medical management.

  • Catheter
  • Stroke
  • Thrombectomy
  • Technique
  • Vein

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