Functional magnetic resonance imaging in spontaneous attacks of SUNCT: short-lasting neuralgiform headache with conjunctival injection and tearing

Ann Neurol. 1999 Nov;46(5):791-4. doi: 10.1002/1531-8249(199911)46:5<791::aid-ana18>;2-8.


A 71-year-old woman presented with a short history of episodes of severe left-sided orbital and temporal pain in paroxysms lasting 60 to 90 seconds, and accompanied by ipsilateral lacrimation of the eye, rhinorrhea, and conjunctival injection. Results of clinical examination and structural imaging were normal and a clinical diagnosis of SUNCT (short-lasting unilateral neuralgiform pains with conjunctival injection and tearing) was made. The patient had a BOLD contrast-magnetic resonance imaging study in which significant activation was seen in the region of the ipsilateral hypothalamic gray, comparing the pain to pain-free state. The region of activation was the same in this patient as has been reported in acute attacks of cluster headache.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Brain / diagnostic imaging
  • Brain / pathology*
  • Cluster Headache / diagnostic imaging
  • Conjunctival Diseases / pathology*
  • Female
  • Functional Laterality
  • Headache / pathology*
  • Headache / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Neuralgia / pathology*
  • Neuralgia / physiopathology
  • Radiography
  • Syndrome
  • Tears
  • Time Factors
  • Tomography, Emission-Computed