SUNCT syndrome: The materialization of a headache syndrome
Department of Neurology, St. Olav´s Hospital, 7006 Trondheim University Hospitals, Trondheim, Norway
Abstract: Shortlasting, unilateral, neuralgiform headache attacks with conjunctival injection and tearing (SUNCT) syndrome is a rare headache, described by our group in 1989. This overview presents our early studies of SUNCT pathogenesis. Due to the conspicuous ictal, ocular phenomena, ie, conjunctival injection and tearing, our studies started out with ocular parameters: intraocular pressure and corneal indentation pulse amplitudes, both of which showed clear ictal increments, symptomatic side. Beat-to-beat, noninvasive blood pressure measurements during attack showed instant, systolic blood pressure rise and corresponding pulse rate decrease. Carotid body, the principal peripheral chemoreceptor, seemed to function normally. The middle cerebral artery was dilated during attacks, particularly on the symptomatic side. Finally, some viewpoints are added regarding terminology. SUNCT is a workable and accepted term. There does not seem to be any need for another, fictitious term to describe the same clinical picture.
Keywords: SUNCT syndrome, intraocular blood flow, intraocular pressure, median artery blood flow, carotid body function, hypothalamic stimulation
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