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Cerebral venous thrombosis and plasma concentrations of factor VIII and von Willebrand factor: a case control study
  1. Jean-Marc Bugnicourt1,
  2. Bertrand Roussel2,
  3. Blaise Tramier3,
  4. Chantal Lamy1,
  5. Olivier Godefroy1
  1. 1Department of Neurology and Laboratoire de Neurosciences Fonctionnelles et Pathologies (UMR CNRS 8160), University Hospital of Amiens, France
  2. 2Department of Haematology and Thrombosis, University Hospital of Amiens, France
  3. 3Medical Information Department, University Hospital of Amiens, France
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr J M Bugnicourt
 Service de Neurologie, CHU Amiens 80054, Amiens Cedex, France; bugnicourt.jean-marc{at}


Background: High plasma concentrations of factor VIII (FVIII) and von Willebrand factor (VWF) have been recently associated with a moderately increased risk of venous thrombosis, but their roles in cerebral sinus and venous thrombosis (CSVT) have not been addressed. To determine whether elevation of FVIII and VWF is more frequent in CSVT, we analysed plasma levels of FVIII and VWF in a case control study.

Methods: The study population consisted of 25 consecutive patients (of whom nine were excluded) admitted for CSVT to the Department of Neurology, Amiens University Hospital, France, from January 1997 to December 2002, for a general screening for thrombophilia. Sixty-four healthy subjects matched for age and sex formed the group control.

Results: Mean FVIII (CSVT: 167.3 (SD 48.8) IU/dl; control group: 117.9 (39.8) IU/dl; p = 0.001) and VWF levels (CSVT: 165.4 (76.5)%; control group: 108.5 (27.8)%; p = 0.01) were significantly higher in the CSVT group. Using the 95th percentile of the control group as the cut off value, elevated FVIII (>190 IU/dl) occurred in 25% (4/16) (p = 0.005) and elevated VWF (>168%) in 37.5% (6/16) of patients with CSVT (p<0.001). Using previously reported cut off values (>150 IU/dl or >150%) showed the same results (FVIII: p = 0.005; VWF: p = 0.009).

Conclusion: Our study suggests that elevation of plasma factor VIII levels is the most common prothrombotic risk factor for CSVT. Elevation of VWF is also associated with an increased risk of CSVT but its effect seems to be partly mediated through FVIII.

  • CSVT, cerebral sinus and venous thrombosis
  • FVIII, factor VIII
  • VTE, venous thromboembolism
  • VWF, von Willebrand factor

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  • Published Online First 22 December 2006

  • Competing interests: None.

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