Cavernous sinus thrombosis is a blood clot in the cavernous sinus. The cavernous sinus is a cavity at the base of the brain that contains a vein, several nerves, and other structures. The vein carries deoxygenated blood from the brain and face back to the heart.
The vein and cavity run between the large bone at the base of the skull (sphenoid bone) and temporal bone (near the temple).
Overview, Causes, & Risk Factors
The cause of cavernous sinus thrombosis is usually a bacterial infection that has spread from the sinuses, teeth, ears, eyes, nose, or skin of the face. Persons with conditions that cause an increased risk of blood clots may also develop cavernous sinus thrombosis.
Pictures & Images
The sinuses are hollow cavities within the facial bones. Sinuses are not fully developed until after age twelve. When people speak of sinus infections, they are most frequently referring to the maxillary and frontal sinuses.
Review Date : 2/5/2010
Reviewed By : David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; Yi-Bin Chen, MD, Leukemia/Bone Marrow Transplant Program, Massachusetts General Hospital. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.