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Co-morbidity between trigeminal autonomic cephalalgias and complex regional pain syndrome: Two case reports

Drummond, P.D.ORCID: 0000-0002-3711-8737 and Finch, P.M.ORCID: 0000-0002-2717-054X (2021) Co-morbidity between trigeminal autonomic cephalalgias and complex regional pain syndrome: Two case reports. Cephalalgia .

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Trigeminal autonomic cephalalgias and complex regional pain syndrome are rare conditions, and their co-occurrence has not been reported previously.

Clinical findings: In two patients, ipsilateral trigeminal autonomic cephalalgias developed after the onset of upper limb complex regional pain syndrome. Hyperalgesia to thermal and mechanical stimuli extended beyond the affected limb to encompass the ipsilateral forehead, and was accompanied by ipsilateral hyperacusis and photophobia. In addition, examination of the painful limb and bright light appeared to aggravate symptoms of trigeminal autonomic cephalalgias. Detailed examination of the association between facial and upper limb pain indicated that both sources of pain cycled together. Furthermore, in one case, stellate ganglion blockade inhibited pain for an extended period not only in the affected limb but also the face.

These findings suggest some overlap in the pathophysiology of complex regional pain syndrome and trigeminal autonomic cephalalgias. Specifically, central sensitization and/or disruption of inhibitory pain modulation on the affected side of the body in complex regional pain syndrome might trigger ipsilateral cranial symptoms and increase vulnerability to trigeminal autonomic cephalalgias.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Psychology, Counselling, Exercise Science and Chiropractic
Publisher: SAGE Publications
Copyright: © 2021 by International Headache Society
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