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Volume 22 , Issue 1
Winter 2008

Pages 71–74


Parapharyngeal Tumor Mimicking Cervicogenic Headache

Nurten Inan, MD/Gulnihal Kutlu, MD/Serap Ucler, MD/Levent E. Inan, MD


PMID: 18351037

Nasopharyngeal cancer can occur in any age group and is often misdiagnosed. Cervicogenic headache (CEH) is a clinical condition, putatively originating from nociceptive structures in the neck. A patient with CEH-like symptoms occurring as a result of nasopharyngeal cancer invasion is reported. A 77-year-old man was admitted to the anesthesiology department (pain unit) with a 3-month history of severe unilateral headache. The headache began in the right part of the neck and spread to the right fronto-orbital region and was always unilateral. There was no history of neck trauma, and the headache did not increase with neck movement. Analgesics were ineffective. The visual analog scale score for pain was 6. Neurological examination demonstrated tenderness over the right greater occipital nerve and reduced range of motion in the cervical spine. Cervical computerized tomography revealed a solid tumor in the right parapharyngeal region, adjacent to the C2-C3 vertebrae. To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first case in the literature of tumoral invasion of nasopharyngeal cancer presenting as CEH. Cervical neuroimaging is obligatory in patients with late-onset, severe CEH. J Orofac Pain 2008;22:71–74 Key words: cervical neuroimaging, cervicogenic headache, elderly, headache, parapharyngeal tumor


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