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J Neurol Neurosurg Psychiatry. 2003 Nov;74(11):1590-2.

SUNCT syndrome secondary to prolactinoma.

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  • 1Headache Group, Institute of Neurology. The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square, London, UK.


Short-lasting unilateral neuralgiform headache attacks with conjunctival injection and tearing (SUNCT) syndrome is a rare form of primary headache disorder, although secondary causes, particularly posterior fossa abnormalities, are well known. We report a case of SUNCT syndrome secondary to a prolactinoma. Administration of dopamine agonists led to complete resolution of the SUNCT attacks. This case, together with other similar case reports in the literature, highlight the importance of excluding a diagnosis of pituitary adenoma in all suspected cases of SUNCT syndrome, especially as the headache can precede more classical pituitary symptoms by a considerable period of time. Clinicians managing patients with suspected SUNCT syndrome should elicit a history of symptoms associated with pituitary neoplasms, perform a magnetic resonance imaging scan of the brain and pituitary, and screen for serum hormonal abnormalities.

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