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Hemicrania continua (HC) is one of the trigeminal autonomic cephalalgias (TAC), where sympathetic dysfunction and autonomic dysfunction resulting in parasympathetic over activation with some evidence of sympathetic inhibition have been suggested as probable causes. However, cases of hemicrania continua secondary to sympathetic dysfunction due to neurogenic paravertebral tumor impinging on the sympathetic chain has not been previously reported. In this case, the probability of the sympathetic dysfunction was more likely based on the clinical features and management. A 23-year-old female presented with a chief complaint of right unilateral pain in the retro-bulbar, head and facial region for the past three years. An initial MRI of the brain was negative, whereas an MRI of the spine was advised to rule out a cervicogenic origin of the pain. The MRI revealed a well-defined mass lesion within right paravertebral region at T3 indicative of a neurogenic tumor. The patient was diagnosed with probable hemicrania continua secondary to neurogenic tumor impinging on adjacent sympathetic chain. A trial of indomethacin 75 mg/day was advised, which provided complete relief of the headache. The patient was referred to a neurologist for management of the neurogenic tumor. Headache disorders may be secondary to pathologies and comprehensive evaluation and accurate diagnosis are essential. Knowledge of neuroanatomy is paramount to understand and explain underlying pathophysiological mechanisms. Multidisciplinary management is essential in complex orofacial cases. © 2021 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston.


Mythili Kalladka, Osamah Al-Azzawi, Gary M Heir, Suresha Kodapala, Mohan Thomas Nainan, Junad Khan. Hemicrania continua secondary to neurogenic paravertebral tumor- a case report. Scandinavian journal of pain. 2022 Jan 27;22(1):204-209

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PMID: 34432971

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