Blackwell Publishing Journal Backfiles 1879-2005
A 56-year-old, previously reported woman with cluster headache-like headache with bouts of unilateral (the side of predominance changing through the years) severe headache had a familial history (three generations) of partial Hageman factor deficiency and bleeding episodes. A giant aneurysm was found to be lodged in the anterior communicating artery on the left side. Clinically, the features were atypical for cluster headache: onset at a young age (14 years), episodes of retrobulbar neuritis appearing at the side of pain, etc. Studies of forehead sweating indicated that the right side was the pathologic one, from an autonomic point of view, as did pupillometric studies. However, during attacks, which were left-sided at the time, forehead sweating was marked laterally on the left side and on the upper eyelid, but not on the right. The “signal” usually reaching the autonomically stigmatized side during attacks of cluster headache, therefore, did not seem to reach the sweat glands on that (the right) side during the attack in the present case. This headache may, therefore, be distinct from cluster headache, both from a clinical and from an autonomic function point of view.
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