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Schmerz. 2006 Sep;20(5):439-44.

[Deep brain stimulation in the posterior hypothalamus for chronic cluster headache. Case report and review of the literature].

[Article in German]

Author information

  • 1Abteilung für Neurochirurgie, Campus Lübeck des Universitätsklinikums Schleswig-Holstein.


Primary chronic cluster headache (CCH) is a rare but severe pain syndrome and pathophysiological explanations are still missing. PET studies revealed activation in the hypothalamus and therefore it became a target for therapeutic deep brain stimulation (DBS). A case of a 39-year-old woman and a literature review are presented. The patient suffered from left-sided primary CCH for 14 months. The headache was resistant to any pharmacological therapy or treatment was limited by major drug side effects. Using a stereotactic approach a quadripolar lead was inserted in the left posterior hypothalamus. A test trial was performed and attack frequency, intensity, and adverse events were noted. Intraoperative test stimulation evoked typical side effects like tachycardia, diplopia and panic attacks. During the trial test a marked reduction in frequency and intensity of CCH was recorded. After 7 days the stimulation device was implanted subcutaneously. DBS with implantation of a lead in the ipsilateral inferior posterior hypothalamus is an experimental treatment option and should be offered to selected patients in a prospective controlled clinical trial. Data concerning the long-term follow-up need to be collected.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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