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CVT Stroke Risk High During Pregnancy and Postpartum Period

“Stroke is the number three cause of death in the United States,” said NY medical malpractice attorney Michael A. Bottar, of Bottar Law, PLLC, a Syracuse-based law firm prosecuting New York stroke misdiagnosis lawsuits.

On top of the ‘usual’ stroke risk is the increased risk of a cerebral vein thrombosis (CVT) during pregnancy. A CVT is the occlusion, or blockage, of a venous sinus which may extend to veins draining into the sinus. It can lead to regional ischemia and infarction in the cerebral cortex.

In a recent report titled Diagnosis and Management of Cerebral Vein Thrombosis: A Statement for Healthcare Professionals from the American Heart Association / American Stroke Association, the AHA articulated a number of evidence-based standards for the timely diagnosis of a CVT and recommendations for treatment during pregnancy and the post-partum period.

Unlike a conventional arterial stroke, the signs and symptoms of a CVT are more variable and typically take weeks to develop. This increases the risk of CVT misdiagnosis. Most patients suffer from a headache, paresis, seizure (generalized or focal) and mental status disorders.

Research behind the AHA study revealed that women a highest risk for a CVT are those who are pregnant, or taking oral contraceptives, and people under age 45. 73% of CVTs strike during the post-partum period (the +/- 4 weeks after giving birth). Recommendations for clinical diagnosis include: a comprehensive history for risk factors, blood testing, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Treatment modalities include anticoagulant medications and, in some cases, endovascular treatment or surgery.

The trial lawyers at Bottar Law, PLLC, have decades of experience investigating, prosecuting and trying to verdict all types of medical malpractice cases. To discuss your case or concerns with an experienced Central New York medical malpractice attorney, contact Bottar Law, PLLC at (315) 422-3466, (800) 336-LAWS, or by e-mail at

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