Red Ear Syndrome and migraine: case report and review of this peculiar association




migraine, migraine disorders, erythema, pain


Introduction: The "Red Ear Syndrome" (RES) is a rare condition (about 100 cases were published in 25 years). It is characterized by episodes of hyperemia of the ear associated with burning pain. Although the association of this syndrome and primary headaches is contemplated in literature, its etiology and treatments are still poorly defined.

The aim of this paper is to report a case of RES related to migraine and possible pathophysiologic mechanisms.

Case Report: A 31-year-old woman presented with stabbing pain and marked erythema and edema of the right ear accompanied by burning and local hyperhidrosis. These attacks lasted 2 hours on average, and either occurred spontaneously or were associated with migraine without aura. The only means of relief during the attacks was cooling the local with ice.

Extensive laboratory-chemical, microbiological, ear-nose-throat, clinical and neurological examinations, magnetic resonance of the brain and cervical spine were unremarkable.

Conclusion: Uncertainty about the etiology of this syndrome is an obstacle to treatment. The frequent relationship between RES and migraine suggests that is necessary to investigate the syndrome in migraineurs. Furthermore, new reports about this disorder are important to increase the knowledge of physicians, to reduce the delay in diagnosis and suffering of patients.


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How to Cite

Borri J, Silva Junior HM da. Red Ear Syndrome and migraine: case report and review of this peculiar association. Headache Med [Internet]. 2022 Jan. 13 [cited 2024 Jun. 18];12(3):264-7. Available from:



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