Vascular Headaches in Mixed Connective Tissue Disease


  • The opinions and assertions contained herein are the private views of the authors and are not to be construed as official or as reflecting the views of the Department of the Army or the Department of Defense.



A prospective study of 46 patients with mixed connective tissue disease (MCTD) revealed that 16 (35%) had recurrent, vascular headaches. Detailed neurologic evaluation of 12 headache patients available for further study revealed the following: 3 had lateralized, throbbing headaches; 9 had bilateral headaches; 8 patients experienced prodromal symptoms (7 had visual auras); and 3 experienced nausea or vomiting. Only 1 patient described headache as interfering with daily activities, and no patients were prostrated. Only 1 patient had frequently required narcotic (codeine) therapy, and none were employing ergot. Headache symptoms have persisted in 8 patients; 5 of these 8 suffer at least 1 headache per week. It appears that frequent vascular headache of mild to moderate severity is a relatively common symptom in MCTD.