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SUNCT syndrome secondary to prolactinoma
  1. M S Matharu1,
  2. M J Levy1,
  3. R T Merry2,
  4. P J Goadsby1
  1. 1Headache Group, Institute of Neurology
  2. 2The National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery, Queen Square, London, UK
  1. Correspondence to:
 Professor P J Goadsby, Institute of Neurology, Queen Square, London WC1N 3BG UK;


Short-lasting unilateral neuralgiform headache attacks with conjunctival injection and tearing (SUNCT) syndrome is a rare form of primary headache disorder, although secondary causes, particularly posterior fossa abnormalities, are well known. We report a case of SUNCT syndrome secondary to a prolactinoma. Administration of dopamine agonists led to complete resolution of the SUNCT attacks. This case, together with other similar case reports in the literature, highlight the importance of excluding a diagnosis of pituitary adenoma in all suspected cases of SUNCT syndrome, especially as the headache can precede more classical pituitary symptoms by a considerable period of time. Clinicians managing patients with suspected SUNCT syndrome should elicit a history of symptoms associated with pituitary neoplasms, perform a magnetic resonance imaging scan of the brain and pituitary, and screen for serum hormonal abnormalities.

  • headache
  • SUNCT syndrome
  • pituitary neoplasm
  • prolactinoma
  • ACTH, adrenocorticotropic hormone
  • fMRI, functional magnetic resonance imaging
  • FSH, follicle stimulating hormone
  • GH, growth hormone
  • LH, lutenising hormone
  • SUNCT, short-lasting unilateral neuralgiform headache attacks with conjunctival injection and tearing
  • TSH, thyroid stimulating hormone

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  • Competing interest: None declared