Heparin in the treatment of Cerebral Venous Thrombosis

Saad Shafqat, Aga Khan University
Ayeesha K. Kamal, Aga Khan University
Mohammad Wasay, Aga Khan University


Cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT) is a potentially life-threatening condition requiring rapid diagnosis and urgent treatment. Heparin anticoagulation is the time-honoured treatment, and is advocated in all cases of CVT, irrespective of etiology or presence of haemorrhage. The supportive evidence is largely observational; data from randomized placebo-controlled trials shows a nonsignificant trend favouring heparin. Current practice is to begin heparin (unfractionated or low-molecular weight) immediately on confirmation of the diagnosis. Newer anti-thrombotic agents such as ximelagatran may offer advantages over heparin and need to be investigated in the treatment of CVT.