Vol 49, No 1 (2015)

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Segmental cavernous carotid ectasia in a patient with cluster-like headache

Robert Semnic1, Duško Kozić1, Marija Semnic2, Jasna Trifunović3, Svetlana Simić2, Aleksandra Radojičić4
DOI: 10.1016/j.pjnns.2015.01.002
Neurol Neurochir Pol 2015;49(1):70-73.



Cluster headache (CH) is a primary headache with severe, unilateral periorbital or temporal pain lasting 15–180min, accompanied with various cranial autonomic features. A diagnosis of cluster-like headache can be made whenever underlying cause of CLH is present.

Methods and results

We report a case where an ectatic cavernous segment of the internal carotid artery triggered CHL, most probably due to compression of the ophthalmic nerve within cavernous sinus. The pathological substrate of a vessel ectasia is degeneration of the tunica intima as a consequence of atherosclerosis and hypertension. On the other hand, cavernous sinus is unique space where parasympathetic, sympathetic and nociceptive fibers are in intimate relationship which is of great importance for understanding of CH pathophysiology.


Magnetic resonance imaging and MR angiography are mandatory imaging tools used for precise localization of pathological changes in the cavernous sinus, especially in the group of secondary headaches attributed to vascular disorders.

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Neurologia i Neurochirurgia Polska