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Orbital Phlebography In Patients With Cluster Headache

Jan Hannerz, Kaj Ericson, Gustaf Bergstrand

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Thirteen patients with cluster headache in an active stage were investigated with orbital phlebography. About 60% of the patients showed pathologic changes on the phlebograms, such as changes in the appearance of the superior ophthalmic vein. Five patients had pathologic changes on both sides and three patients on one side only. All patients with unilateral pathologic findings on orbital phlebography had the attacks on the same side. The phlebographic findings in these patients with cluster headache were very similar to those of patients with the Tolosa-Hunt syndrome. There is also some similarity in the symptoms in the two disorders. It has previously been suggested that the Tolosa-Hunt syndrome is caused by venous vasculitis, and the present findings to some extent support the idea that cluster headache may have the same etiology.