Endovascular and Medical Management of Cerebral Venous Thrombosis: A Systematic Review and Network Meta-Analysis

Anant Naik, Emily Smith, Rajiv Dharnipragada, Joshua S. Catapano, Samuel W. Cramer, Ryan Johnson, Rukhsaar Khanam, Wael Hassaneen, Michael T. Lawton, Paul M. Arnold

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Management of cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT) involves minimizing expansion of the thrombus and promoting the recanalization of the venous sinus. While current guidelines include indications of endovascular management and anticoagulation with heparin and warfarin, the use of direct-acting oral anticoagulants (DOACs) has increased. In this study, we aim to conduct a network meta-analysis comparing these 3 therapeutic options: standard anticoagulation, DOACs, and endovascular treatments (EVTs). Methods: Seventeen of 2265 studies identified from 4 publication databases met inclusion criteria for this network meta-analysis. Outcomes analyzed included modified Rankin Scale score, complications, mortality, and 6-month recanalization rates using a frequentist network meta-analysis approach. For each outcome, the preferential order of each intervention was ranked hierarchically based on P-score calculations used for frequentist network meta-analyses. Results: Modified Rankin Scale outcomes were not significantly different based on the type of treatment modality (i.e., standard anticoagulation, DOACs, or EVT). Evaluation of complications demonstrated that patients treated with EVT were significantly more likely to experience a worse outcome than individuals treated with standard anticoagulation (odds ratio [OR] = 1.83, P = 0.04). Other comparisons did not demonstrate a significant difference in adverse events. For all-cause mortality outcomes, EVT demonstrated significantly greater odds of mortality than standard anticoagulation (OR = 1.89, P = 0.02). Mortality between DOACs and standard anticoagulation was not significantly different. When comparing 6-month recanalization rates, DOACs and EVT were significantly more effective than standard anticoagulation (OR = 1.93, OR = 2.2, P < 0.05). EVT followed by DOACs was preferred over standard anticoagulation for 6-month recanalization rates. Conclusions: This network meta-analysis evaluates the outcomes in CVT treatment, comparing standard anticoagulation, DOACs, and EVT, with evidence that DOACs have similar outcomes to standard anticoagulation in the treatment of CVT. EVT resulted in an increased risk of overall mortality but improved 6-month recanalization rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalWorld Neurosurgery
StatePublished - Sep 2022


  • Anticoagulation
  • Cerebral venous thrombosis
  • Direct oral anticoagulation
  • Endovascular

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Surgery


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