Clinical Neuroscience

A case of secondary SUNCT syndrome

GUL Gunay1, KANDEMIR Melek2, KARA Batuhan3, SAKALLI Karagoz Nazan1, EREN Sengul Fulya1

SEPTEMBER 30, 2017

Clinical Neuroscience - 2017;70(09-10)


SUNCT syndrome, a rare form of primary headaches, may be secondary to pituitary tumours. The secondary forms usually related with prolactinomas. The response of dopamin agonists could be variable. In this study, we reported a case of SUNCT syndrome secondary to prolactinoma. Cranial magnetic resonance imaging was performed for this patient because of the increase in pain severity and frequency. A hemorrhage was detected into the prolactinoma ipsilateral to the pain. The headache attacks were taken undercontrol and remission was ensured with cabergoline in a short time.


  1. Bakirkoy Prof. Dr. Mazhar Osman Mental and Neurological Diseases Training and Research Hospital, Istanbul, Turkey
  2. Bayindir Icerenkoy Hospital, Department of Neurology, Istanbul, Turkey
  3. Bakirkoy Dr. Sadi Konuk Research and Training Hospital, Department of Radiology, Istanbul, Turkey



Further articles in this publication

Clinical Neuroscience

[Diabetes, dementia, depression, distress]

SZATMÁRI Szabolcs, ORBÁN-KIS Károly, MIHÁLY István, LÁZÁR Alpár Sándor

[The number of people living with diabetes continues to rise. Therefore neurologists or other health care practitioners may be increasingly faced with comorbid neuropsychiatric disorders commonly presented by diabetic patients. More recently there has been an increasing research interest not only in the interactions between diabetes and the nervous system, the fine structure and functional changes of the brain, but also in the cognitive aspects of antidiabetic treatments. Patients with both types of diabetes mellitus may show signs of cognitive decline, and depression. Comorbid insomnia, anxiety, and distress may also occur. The bi-directional relationships between all these phenomena as well as their connection with diabetes can lead to further health and quality of life deterioration. Therefore it is important that all practitioners involved in the care of diabetic patients recognize the presence of comorbid neuropsychiatric disturbances early on during the healthcare process. Identifying higher risk patients and early screening could improve the prognosis of diabetes and may prevent complications.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[The Multiple Sclerosis Registry of Szeged]

BENCSIK Krisztina, SANDI Dániel, BIERNACKI Tamás, KINCSES Zsigmond Tamás, FÜVESI Judit, FRICSKA-NAGY Zsanett, VÉCSEI László

[Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a rare disease of the central nervous system considering the total population, the prevalence in Hungary is 83.9/100.000. The first MS registry was established in Denmark in the middle of the 1950’s. This was followed by the establishment of several national, then international databases with the number of enrolled patients in the hundred-thousands. At the beginning, the primary goal of the registries were the epidemiological surveys, focusing on the number of patients, the prevalence, the incidence, the mortality and the co-morbidity. As of today, however, with the rapid advancement and development of new disease modifying therapies (DMT) with different effectiveness and adverse reactions, the therapeutic use of the registries became even more essential: the modern, up-to-date, well established registries become integral part of the DMTs’ monitorization. The Multiple Sclerosis Registry of Szeged was first established as a “paper-based” database, then, in 2012, it was upgraded to an electronic, easily contactable and useable internet-based registry. As of today, it contains the socio-demographic and clinical data of more than 600 patients; we constantly add new patients as well as keep the registry up-to-date with the refreshment of old patients’ data. Aside from the “classical” clinical data, it can be used for the recording and assessment of the MRI scans and the data on psychopathological and quality of life assessments, which are becoming more and more important in everyday MS management. The establishment of the internet-based registry incredibly helped both the monitorization of the effectiveness of DMTs, and the success of the new epidemiological and psychopathological surveys. ]

Clinical Neuroscience

Health anxiety mediates the connection between somatosensory amplification and self-reported food sensitivity

ELIESON M. Linn, DÖMÖTÖR Zsuzsanna, KÖTELES Ferenc

Background - The frequency of self-reported food sensitivity (SFS) is increasing, and has a negative impact on the well-being and everyday functioning of the affected people. A considerable proportion of SFS cannot be medically explained. The lack of knowledge of its origin and treatment causes further stress in those affected. Purpose - This study aims to get a better understanding of the psychological background of the condition. Methods - A non-representative community sample (N=335; age: 35.1±13.18 yrs; 75.8% female) completed an English on-line questionnaire assessing somatosensory amplification, health anxiety, modern health worries (MHWs), beliefs concerning the scientific validity of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), holistic beliefs on health and illness. Results - In multiple binary logistic regression analyses, SFS were associated with CAM related beliefs, somatosensory amplification, and health anxiety after controlling for age and gender. The connection between somatosensory amplification and SFS were completely mediated by health anxiety. No differences between the two groups were found with respect to MHWs, worries about the harmful effects of various artificial components in food, and holistic health beliefs. Discussion: More positive attitudes toward CAM might be based on the lack of conventional treatment, rather than on higher levels of MHWs or a more holistic worldview. Both the existence of symptoms and the presence of health anxiety might be needed for the development and maintenance of SFS. Conclusions - The findings support the notion that somatosensory amplification and health anxiety might play a role in the development and maintenance of SFS.

Clinical Neuroscience

Correlation of vitamin D levels with electrophysiological findings and pain in the patients with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome


Objective - This study aimed to assess the correlation between vitamin D deficiency and electrophysiological findings and pain level in patients with symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS). Patients and method - A total of 131 patients with symptoms of CTS, 70 with vitamin D deficiency and 61 without vitamin D deficiency, were included in the study. Using demographic data and findings from electrophysiological examinations, the patients were divided into two groups based on their vitamin D level (Group 1: <20 ng/ml; Group 2: ≥20 ng/ml). The Boston Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Questionnaire was used to assess their CTS- related pain level. Results - Although the rate of CTS in the patients with a low vitamin D level was found to be high, no statistically significant correlation was observed between low vitamin D level and the frequency and severity of CTS. Additionally, the pain and functional loss ratio induced by CTS was found to be higher in the group with a lower vitamin D level than in the group with normal levels. Conclusion - Low vitamin D levels may increase the severity of CTS symptoms. Treatment of vitamin D deficiency in patients with CTS can play a role in reducing pain and disability.

Clinical Neuroscience

[Current diagnosis and treatment of idiopathic intracranial hypertension]

SALOMVÁRY Bernadett, PÁNCZÉL Gyula, MARKIA Balázs, NAGY Gábor

[Background - Idiopathic intracranial hypertension is cha-racterized by raised intracranial pressure of unknown origin, leading to persisting visual loss if left untreated. Purpose - We assessed timing of surgery, and the efficacy and safety of ventriculo-peritoneal shunt. Methods - Retrospective analysis of 65 patients treated at our Neuro-ophthalmology Clinic between 2009 and 2017. Patients - We treated 15 children and 50 adults, 42 patients conservatively, and 23 surgically. The median age at presentation was 27 years for adults, 88% were obese, and 86% female. The age of children was 5-17 years, 40% were obese, and 53% girl. The commonest presentation symptom was headache in both groups (64%), followed by obscuration (33%), and double vision (22-31%). Subjective visual loss was only experienced in the surgical group (50%). The time until diagnosis was 2 weeks in both groups. However, the conservative group presented to our institute significantly earlier (3 weeks), than the surgical group (8 weeks). The follow-up time was 25 months. Results - In the conservative group papilla edema was 2D, visual acuity ≥0.7, and visual field loss was only mild. Time to cure was 3 months. In the surgical group both preoperative papilla edema (3D), and visual function were significantly worse. Indications for surgery were papilla edema, deteriorating visual function or relapse resistant to conservative treatment. Papilla edema disappeared 3 months after surgery, and visual field deficit improved significantly. We detected significant improvement in all aspects of visual function even at first neuro-ophthalmic control 4 days after surgery. However, visual acuity only improved in cases of preoperative acuity ≥0.3. Shunt revision occurred in 17%, and shunt infection in 8.5%. One patient suffered from persistent visual deterioration after surgery, and asymptomatic complication (epidural hematoma) was found in another patient. There was no surgical mortality. Conclusions - This is a curable condition with early diagnosis and adequate treatment, and persistent visual loss can be prevented. Surgery is effective and safe, close neuro-ophthalmic monitoring is mandatory for its optimal timing. Visual function of all patients can be preserved when operated on in time, whereas severe visual loss appears to be irreversible despite surgery.]

All articles in the issue

Related contents

Clinical Neuroscience

Risk factors related to intracranial infections after transsphenoidal pituitary adenomectomy under endoscope

XU Yifan, HE Yuxin , XU Wu, LU Tianyu, LIANG Weibang, JIN Wei

Background – Up to now, the risk factors related to intracranial infections after transsphenoidal pituitary adenomectomy remain controversial. Purpose – To analyze the risk factors related to intracranial infections after transsphenoidal pituitary adenomectomy under an endoscope, and to provide evidence for preventing and controlling the occurrence and development of infections. A total of 370 patients receiving endoscopic transsphenoidal pituitary adenomectomy in our hospital from January 2014 to October 2017 were selected. The risk factors related to postoperative intracranial infections were analyzed. The hospitalization lengths and expenditures of patients with and without intracranial infections were compared. Of the 370 patients, 18 underwent postoperative intracranial infections, with the infection rate of 4.86%. Intraoperative blood loss >120 mL, cerebrospinal leakage, diabetes, preoperative use of hormones, macroadenoma as well as surgical time >4 h all significantly increased the infection rate (P<0.05). Preoperative use of antibacterial agents prevented intracranial infection. Compared with patients without intracranial infections, the infected ones had significantly prolonged hospitalization length and increased expenditure (P<0.05). Discussion – It is of great clinical significance to analyze the risk factors related to intracranial infection after endoscopic transsphenoidal pituitary adenomectomy, aiming to prevent and to control the onset and progression of infection. Intracranial infections after endoscopic transsphenoidal pituitary adenomectomy were affected by many risk factors, also influencing the prognosis of patients and the economic burden.

Clinical Neuroscience

[Endoscopic, posterior transseptal pituitary surgery - Learning curve of the surgical technique and equipment in 61 operations]


[Introduction - The removal of hypophyseal tumor by transsphenoidal pituitary surgery using microsurgical instruments was first performed over 100 years ago. Operating techniques for this surgery are constantly being renewed, first by using a microscope and later on with the use of an endoscop. The authors provide an overview of the minimal invasive posterior transseptal-transsphenoidal aproach with the combined utilization of classical techniques with the assistance of the endoscop. Method - Sixty-one patients (33 female, 28 male, 21-84 yrs) were treated for sellar region tumor resection using an endonasal transsphenoidal aproach with the help of an endoscop. Follow ups were performed within 2-21 months. Results - Total tumor resection was successful in 91.8%, and partial resection in 8.2% of the patients. The rate of complications using the endoscop method was not higher compared to that of the classical microscopic method. There was no major bleeding in any of the cases. Adverse events such as minor epistaxis occurred in 4.9%, transitional diabetes insipidus in 6.5%, inraoperative CSF leak in 16.67%, postoperative CSF leak in 11.5% and meningitis in 8.2% of the patients. After the operation the pathological hormonal production stoped in all patients except in two patients who were acromegalic. However their GH level normalized and they did not require further treatment, the IGF-1 still remained high. Conclusion - The success of the surgical treatment is based on both, the proficient pre- and postoperative endocrinological care, and the minimal invasive surgical technique. The endoscop was used partially or continuously during the operation for better visualization of the operation field in multiple angles (30°, 45°). It was useful in differentiating between normal and tumorous glandular tissue, and also offered an enhanced view of the intrasellar (via hydroscopy) and parasellar region. Moreover the endoscopic method is able to decrease the operating time, reduce blood loss. In different stages of the surgery, depending on the anatomical and pathological situation, switching back and forth from microscope to endoscop technique, gives us the benefit of a clearer view in each situation.]

Lege Artis Medicinae


IVÁN Gabriella, GÓTH Miklós

[Hyperprolactinaemia is one of the most common endocrine diseases. Besides hypothyroidism- associated hyperprolactinaemia and that arising as a side effect of certain drugs, the most common cause of hyperprolactinaemia is a pituitary microadenoma (<10 mm in diameter) or macroadenoma (≥10 mm) that produces prolactin (prolactinoma). In addition, several physiological conditions can elevate (mostly temporarily) the serum prolactin level, therefore, setting up the precise diagnosis requires careful evaluation of the patient’s history and the laboratory, clinical, and imaging findings. Moreover, macroprolactinaemia, which is usually not a pituitary tumour-related disease, should also be ruled out. Prolactinomas represent the most common form of functioning pituitary adenomas, accounting for 30-40% of such tumours. The typical clinical symptoms of hyperprolactinaemia may be modulated by the mass effect of macroadenomas. In women the disease typically manifests as menstrual disturbance of various degree, including primary or secondary amenorrhoea, oligomenorrhoea, short luteal phase, infertility and galactorrhoea. In men reduced libido, impotence, infertility, gynaecomastia and, rarely, galactorrhoea are the typical symptoms. Dopamine agonist therapy is the first choice of treatment. Dopamine agonist therapy (bromocriptine and the recently developed quinagolide and cabergoline) successfully lowers the serum prolactine level in nearly 90% of cases, and, importantly, it also reduces the size of the tumour in the majority of cases. This explains why today surgery and radiotherapy are only used in rare special cases of prolactinoma.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Radiosurgery of intracerebral cavernomas - Current international trends]

NAGY Gábor, KEMENY A. Andras, MAJOR Ottó, ERÕSS Loránd, VÁRADY Péter, MEZEY Géza, FEDORCSÁK Imre, BOGNÁR László

[Although still a controversial management option, radiosurgery of intracranial cavernomas has become increasingly popular world-wide during the last decade. Microsurgery is a safe and effective treatment for symptomatic hemispheric cavernomas. However, the indication for microsurgical resection of deep eloquent cavernomas is relatively limited even in experienced hands. The importance of radiosurgery has recently been appreciated in parallel with increasing positive experiences both in terms of effectiveness and safety, especially for cases high risk for surgical resection, in the brainstem, thalamus and basal ganglia. While radiosurgery was earlier indicated mainly for surgically inaccessible lesions that had bled multiple times, a more proactive policy has recently become more accepted. In our opinion preventive treatment with the low morbidity radiosurgery serves the patients’ interest especially for deep eloquent lesions that had bled not more than once, due to the cumulative morbidity of repeated hemorrhages. Despite our increasing knowledge on natural history, there is currently no available treatment algorithm for cavernomas. Arguments for all three treatment modalities (observation, microsurgery and radiosurgery) are established, but their indication criteria are yet to be defined. It is time to organize a prospective population based data collection in Hungary, which appears to be the most realistic way to clarify indication criteria.]

Clinical Neuroscience

[Radiosurgery of intracerebral cavernomas - Current Hungarian practice]

FEDORCSÁK Imre, NAGY Gábor, DOBAI József Gábor, MEZEY Géza, BOGNÁR László

[Background and purpose - Radiosurgery is an increasingly popular treatment option especially for deep eloquent intracerebral cavernomas that are often too risky for surgical removal, but their re-bleed carries significant risk for persisting neurological deficit. Gamma-radiation based radiosurgery has been being available since 2007 in Hungary in Debrecen. Our aim is to summarize our experience accumulated during the first five years of treatment and to compare it to the international experience. Patient selection and methods - We retrospectively analyzed 51 cavernomas in 45 patients treated between 2008 and 2012 in terms of localization, natural history, and the effect of radiosurgery on re-bleed risk and epilepsy, and its side effects. Results - We treated 26.5% deep eloquent (brainstem, thalamic/basal ganglia) and 72.5% superficial hemispheric cavernomas. The median presentation age was 25 years (13-60) for deep, and 45 years (6-67) for superficial cavernomas. They were treated median of 1 year after presentation. 64.5% of deep cavernomas bled before treatment, the annual risk of first hemorrhage was 2%/lesion, re-bleed risk 21.7%, with 44% persisting morbidity. 13.5% of superficial cavernomas bled prior to treatment, the risk of first bleed was 0.3%, there was no re-bleed, and 35% caused epilepsy. We used GammaART-6000TM rotating gamma system for treatment, marginal dose was 14 Gy (10-16), and treatment volume 1.38-1.53 cm3. Re-bleed risk of deep eloquent lesions fell to 4% during the first two years after treatment and to 0% thereafter, and no hemorrhage occurred from superficial lesions after treatment. Persisting morbidity in deep lesions came from adverse radiation effect in 7% and from re-bleed in 7%, and there was no persisting side effect in superficial cavernomas. 87.5% of cases of epilepsy resistant to medical therapy improved. Radiological regression was found in 37.5% and progression in 2% after treatment. Conclusions - Radiosurgery of cavernomas is safe and effective. Early preventive treatment for deep cavernomas carrying high surgical risk is justified. Moreover, for superficial lesions that are surgically easily accessible radiosurgery also appears to be an attractive alternative.]