Prolonged Intra-Sinus Alteplase Infusion in Severe Case of CVST

Danine P. Sullinger, Sung Min Cho, Salia Farrokh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) is an uncommon condition accounting for 0.5-1% of all strokes. It occurs more commonly in women, particularly in the age group of 20-40 years of age due to pregnancy and oral contraceptive use. Systemic anticoagulation is recommended as first line treatment but 10-20% of patients deteriorate despite medical treatment and require surgical or endovascular interventions. We summarize a 41-year-old female with a past medical history of acute disseminated encephalomyelitis who presented with headaches and worsening mental status. Further workup confirmed inferior sagittal sinus thrombus with intraventricular hemorrhage for which she was initiated on heparin continuous infusion. Due to worsening of clot burden and cerebral edema, a right frontal external ventricular drain was placed in addition to medical management of elevated ICP. Intravenous heparin infusion was stopped intermittently for such procedures. However, even when heparin was continued, sub-therapeutic and supra-therapeutic ranges were commonly observed, making anticoagulation management challenging. A new left-sided EVD had to be placed after increased IVH and worsening of hydrocephalus due to clotting. Due to patient’s clinical worsening, a microcatheter was placed in the straight sinus and continuous alteplase via intra-sinus catheter was initiated at a rate of 1 mg/hour. This was continued for 72 hours in addition to the continuous heparin infusion. Additionally, she received intraventricular alteplase 1 mg x 3 doses for IVH. Unfortunately, she continued to deteriorate despite maximal medical therapy. She was made comfort care and expired.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)140-147
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Pharmacy Practice
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • alteplase
  • cerebral edema
  • cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST)
  • heparin
  • intraventricular hemorrhage (IVH)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmacology (medical)


Dive into the research topics of 'Prolonged Intra-Sinus Alteplase Infusion in Severe Case of CVST'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this