Trigeminal neuralgia and "SUNCT" syndrome: similarities and differences in the clinical pictures. An overview

Funct Neurol. Mar-Apr 1992;7(2):103-7.


SUNCT is a recently described unilateral headache with frequently occurring, shortlasting pain attacks in the ocular area accompanied by ipsilateral conjunctival injection, lacrimation, and (subclinical) forehead sweating. In some patients, attacks may be triggered by cutaneous stimuli. In this communication, SUNCT patients (n = 5) are compared with the considerable clinical series of trigeminal neuralgia in the literature (e.g. Harris, 1940, 1433 cases). In several respects (unilaterality, triggering, brevity and frequency of paroxysms), SUNCT shows similarity to trigeminal neuralgia. SUNCT seems to differ clearly from trigeminal neuralgia in other respects: sex distribution (SUNCT patients are often males), pain localization (SUNCT patients have the pain in the ocular area), the carbamazepine effect, presence of conjunctival injection, lacrimation, etc. SUNCT may accordingly altogether seem to be distinct from trigeminal neuralgia.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Carbamazepine / therapeutic use
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Headache / classification
  • Headache / diagnosis*
  • Headache / drug therapy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Sex Factors
  • Syndrome
  • Terminology as Topic
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia / diagnosis*
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia / drug therapy


  • Carbamazepine