• Sunct;
  • autonomic;
  • blood pressure;
  • cardiovascular


The recently described “Sunct” syndrome is a rare picture of unilateral, shortlasting headache attacks accompanied by autonomic phenomena (conjunctival injection, tearing, etc.) on the symptomatic side. Heart rate and blood pressure were monitored in two elderly “Sunct” patients during and outside headache attacks. An ultrasound Doppler servo method was used for the non-invasive, continuous, beat-to-beat determination of instantaneous arterial blood pressure. In a third patient, systolic and diastolic blood pressure, both outside and during pain paroxysms, were assessed using the standard Korotkoff method. Heart rate was found to be significantly decreased during pain paroxysms. Systolic blood pressure was observed to be significantly increased during attacks, when compared with the inter-attack period, while a less consistent pattern was observed for diastolic blood pressure. Some of the changes in the cardiovascular system seemed to start prior to pain onset. Therefore, it seems unlikely that these changes were caused by pain activation of the sympathetic nervous system or the oculocardiac reflex.