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Skull base surgery. 2000; 10(4): 201–205.
PMCID: PMC1656868

Epidural Abscess Masquerading as Lateral Sinus Thrombosis

Abstract

Controversy regarding the use of anticoagulants, the evacuation of the sinus, or the use of medical treatment alone surrounds the treatment of lateral sinus thrombosis. Treatment of an epidural abscess associated with coalescent mastoiditis is much less controversial-drainage is usually recommended. The differing treatments of these complications mandate accurate diagnosis. The advent of more sophisticated radiological studies has facilitated diagnosis of these complications; however, tests are not infallible. We present three cases in which preoperative imaging demonstrates an epidural abscess mimicking lateral sinus thrombosis by compression of the vessel. A false-positive computed tomography (CT) or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) study may lead to the wrong diagnosis and, consequently, improper treatment. In light of this possibility, we recommend surgical exploration in all such cases.

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Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
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  • Teichgraeber JF, Per-Lee JH, Turner JS., Jr Lateral sinus thrombosis: a modern perspective. Laryngoscope. 1982 Jul;92(7 Pt 1):744–751. [PubMed]
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