SUNCT syndrome and hypophyseal adenomas: a review

Publicado na 1ª edição de 2009

Background: SUNCT syndrome (short-lasting unilateral neuralgiform headache with conjuntival injection and tearing) is a rare type of headache, recently classified by the International Headache Society. The mechanisms involved in the physiopathology of this headache remains poorly understood. This article proposes to revise 12 cases of SUNCT syndrome associated to pituitary adenomas described in the medical literature, in order to spot the relationship between these two entities and to discuss the possible physiopathological mechanisms of this association. Results: Twelve cases described in the literature were revised. There was no significant prevalence of gender and the mean age of the patients was 36 years. Micro- and macroadenomas have been described in association with SUNCT syndrome. There was a clear coincidence between the lateralization of the tumor and the side where the pain was felt (91.7%). Dopamine antagonists worsened the pain in 41.7% (5/12) of the cases and the cure was obtained by resection of the tumor in 50% of the cases. Conclusions: Although the scarce number of studies does not provide sufficient data to final conclusions, there is a clear possible relationship between SUNCT syndrome and pituitary adenoma. Both physical mechanisms and hormonal pathways involving the hypothalamic-pituitary axis may play role in the development of this association.


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