Headaches and Pineal Cyst: A (More Than) Coincidental Relationship?


  • Mario F.P. Peres MD,

  • Eliova Zukerman MD,

  • Pedro P. Porto MD,

  • Reynaldo A. Brandt MD

  • From Hospital Israelita Albert Einstein, Instituto de Ensino e Pesquisa, São Paulo, SP, Brazil.

Address all correspondence to Dr. Mario F.P. Peres, Av. Albert Einstein, 627 235, 05651-901 Sao Paulo, Brazil.


Pineal cysts are common findings in neuroimaging studies. The cysts are more frequent in women in their third decade of life. Pineal cysts can be symptomatic, headache is the most common symptom. The pineal gland has important physiological implications in humans, but little is known about the impact of pineal cysts in human physiology. We report 5 headache patients with pineal cyst, 4 women, 1 man, mean age 37.6, mean cyst diameter 10.1 mm. Two patients had migraine without aura, 1 migraine with aura, 1 chronic migraine, and 1 hemicrania continua. Three patients had strictly unilateral headaches. We hypothesize pineal cysts may be not incidental in headache patients, inducing an abnormal melatonin secretion.