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Cluster Headache After Cataract Surgery

Gil-Gouveia, Raquel MD*; Fonseca, Ana MD

doi: 10.1097/AJP.0b013e31828b10e9
Online Articles: Case Reports

Background: Symptomatic cluster-like headache has been described with some ophthalmological disorders such as glaucoma, orbital myositis, posterior scleritis, enucleation, herpes zoster ophthalmicus, and cataract surgery.

Case Report: We report a new case of a 79-year-old nonsmoker woman who developed cluster-like symptoms 2 days after a cataract surgery and review the 2 previously reported cases.

Discussion: The surgical technique of cataract removal involves corneal incision, which can trigger the trigeminal-autonomic reflex, a pathophysiological mechanism potentially implicated in idiopathic cluster headache. Differential diagnosis in these cases includes surgical and anesthetic complications.

*Headache Outpatient Clinic, Hospital da Luz

Department of Ophthalmology, Hospital de Santa Maria, Lisboa, Portugal

The authors declare no conflict of interest.

Reprints: Raquel Gil-Gouveia, MD, Headache Outpatient Clinic, Hospital da Luz, Avenida Lusíada 100, 1500-650 Lisboa, Portugal (e-mail:

Received August 28, 2011

Accepted January 31, 2013

© 2013 by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins