Misdiagnosis of cerebral vein thrombosis in the emergency department

Ava L. Liberman, Gino Gialdini, Ekaterina Bakradze, Abhinaba Chatterjee, Hooman Kamel, Alexander E. Merkler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Scopus citations


Background and Purpose-Rates of cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT) misdiagnosis in the emergency department and outcomes associated with misdiagnosis have been underexplored. Methods-Using administrative data, we identified adults with CVT at New York, California, and Florida hospitals from 2005 to 2013. Our primary outcome was probable misdiagnosis of CVT, defined as a treat-and-release emergency department visit for headache or seizure within 14 days before CVT. In addition, logistic regression was used to compare rates of clinical outcomes in patients with and without probable CVT misdiagnosis. We performed a confirmatory study at 2 tertiary care centers. Results-We identified 5966 patients with CVT in whom 216 (3.6%; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.1%-4.1%) had a probable misdiagnosis of CVT. After adjusting for demographics, risk factors for CVT, and the Elixhauser comorbidity index, probable CVT misdiagnosis was not associated with in-hospital mortality (odds ratio, 0.14; 95% CI, 0.02-1.05), intracerebral hemorrhage (odds ratio, 0.97; 95% CI, 0.57-1.65), or unfavorable discharge disposition (odds ratio, 0.90; 95% CI, 0.61-1.32); a longer length of hospital stay was seen among misdiagnosed patients with CVT (odds ratio, 1.62; 95% CI, 1.04-2.50). In our confirmatory cohort, probable CVT misdiagnosis occurred in 8 of 134 patients with CVT (6.0%; 95% CI, 2.6%-11.4%). Conclusions-In a large, heterogeneous multistate cohort, probable misdiagnosis of CVT occurred in 1 of 30 patients but was not associated with the adverse clinical outcomes included in our study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1504-1506
Number of pages3
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2018


  • cerebral venous thrombosis
  • diagnosis
  • diagnostic errors
  • emergency service, hospital

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine
  • Advanced and Specialized Nursing


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