• Cluster headache;
  • Tolosa-Hunt syndrome;
  • orbital phlebography;
  • inflammation;
  • haptoglobin;
  • orosomucoid


One of our 7 patients (14%) with chronic cluster headache had an abnormal orbital phlebogram; this was significantly less than the 61% encountered in our 13 patients with active episodic cluster headache who had this test done.

There were no pathologically increased values for serum haptoglobin or orosomucoid in our 9 patients with chronic cluster headache, again significantly less than in our 43 patients with active episodic cluster headache, 51 percent of whom had pathologically increased values of haptoglobin or orosomucoid.

These inflammatory signs decreased after the episodic cluster headache was over.

Episodic cluster headache we suggest to be due to temporary sympathicoplegia caused by venous vasculitis in the cavernous sinus region; chronic cluster headache we attribute to permanent post-inflammatory sympathicoplegia in the middle fossa.