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Cluster headache as a first manifestation of multiple sclerosis: case report and literature review

Authors Mijajlović M, Aleksić V, Šternić N

Received 30 August 2014

Accepted for publication 8 October 2014

Published 25 November 2014 Volume 2014:10 Pages 2269—2274


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Dr Roger Pinder

Milija D Mijajlović,* Vuk M Aleksić,* Nadežda M Čovičković Šternić

Department for Cerebrovascular Disorders and Headaches, Neurology Clinic, Clinical Center of Serbia, School of Medicine, University of Belgrade, Belgrade, Serbia

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Abstract: Cluster headache (CH) is estimated to be the most common primary trigeminal autonomic headache, although it is a rare disabling medical condition. Dominant symptoms of CH include severe unilateral orbital, supraorbital, and/or temporal pain, lasting from 15 to 180 minutes if untreated, associated with at least one of various autonomic symptoms during the headache, such as conjunctival injection, lacrimation, nasal congestion and rhinorrhea, facial sweating, miosis, ptosis, and eyelid edema. Headache is not frequently a symptom of multiple sclerosis (MS). The most commonly reported primary headaches are migraine without aura and a tension-type headache. Several described cases involved complicated migraine, ophthalmoplegic migraine-like headache, and finally cluster-like headache. We present a case of a 45-year-old male patient who had typical CH attacks as the initial and only clinical manifestation of MS, which was diagnosed after cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) isoelectric focusing and brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) investigation. He presented as a typical cluster-like headache patient since in the background of the CH symptoms and signs, were MS demyelinating lesions. In a patient with CH symptoms one should always think about the possibility of cluster-like-headache, which presents the CH patient with different underlying diseases, so we proposed a protocol to evaluate such patients and exclude diseases that could be in the background of CH symptoms.

Keywords: demyelinating disease, headache, trigeminal autonomic cephalalgia, diagnosis

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