Thrombophlebitis of the temporal vein as an extracranial complication of acute bacterial rhinosinusitis | Ear, Nose & Throat Journal Skip to content Skip to navigation

Thrombophlebitis of the temporal vein as an extracranial complication of acute bacterial rhinosinusitis

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August 27, 2015
by Markus E. Huth, MD; Marco D. Caversaccio, MD, PhD

Abstract

A 39-year-old white man presented with a swollen left upper eyelid secondary to progressive acute bacterial rhinosinusitis (ABRS). Physical examination found a 40% reduction in vision in the left eye and right-sided erythematous temporal swelling with tenderness to palpation. Computed tomography revealed the presence of an inflammatory lesion in the left orbit. Duplex ultrasonography demonstrated a thrombotic occlusion in the right superficial temporal vein (STV). For treatment of the complicated ARBS, the patient received intravenous antibiotics and underwent surgery. The STV thrombophlebitis was treated with low-molecular-weight heparin. Postoperatively, the patient recovered completely and his vision normalized; 10 days later, duplex ultrasonography showed a patent STV. The development of contralateral STV thrombophlebitis is conceivably facilitated by venous anastomoses of the scalp in the front of the head. As a result, embolic spread would be a possible complication of infectious ABRS foci communicating with intraorbital and pericranial veins. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first reported case of such a complication of ARBS in the literature.

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