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Whiplash Injury-induced Atypical Short-lasting Unilateral Neuralgiform Headache With Conjunctival Injection and Tearing Syndrome Treated by Greater Occipital Nerve Block

Choi, Hyuk Jai MD; Choi, Seok Keun MD; Lee, Sung Ho MD; Lim, Young Jin MD

The Clinical Journal oF Pain: May 2012 - Volume 28 - Issue 4 - p 342–343
doi: 10.1097/AJP.0b013e318234ec39
Case Reports

Background: Short-lasting unilateral neuralgiform headache with conjunctival injection and tearing (SUNCT) syndrome is a rare type of trigeminal autonomic cephalalgia. SUNCT syndrome is typically idiopathic, and secondary SUNCT syndrome after indirect injury is very rare. We report a case of SUNCT syndrome manifested dramatically after a whiplash injury and treated by greater occipital nerve (GON) block.

Case: A 62-year-old woman presented with headache associated with ipsilateral orbitofacial pain, lacrimination, and conjunctival injection after a car accident. Imaging study revealed no acute lesions. The symptoms were triggered and worsened by touch on the ipsilateral scalp and posterior neck region, and also by talking, swallowing, or chewing. We performed GON blocks for headache 3 times. The patient experienced pain relief after a GON block.

Conclusions: Secondary SUNCT syndrome induced by whiplash injury is rare. Our case showed good outcome of SUNCT syndrome treated by GON.

Department of Neurosurgery, School of Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Reprints: Seok Keun Choi, MD, Department of Neurosurgery, School of Medicine, Kyung Hee University, 1 Hoegi-dong, Dongdaemungu, Seoul 130-702, Korea (e-mail:

Received December 14, 2010

Accepted August 27, 2011

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.