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Keywords:

  • carotid-cavernous fistula;
  • endovascular embolization;
  • migraine;
  • transvenous;
  • triptans

Carotid-cavernous fistula (CCF) generally causes periorbital aching with ocular symptoms due to high venous pressure in the cavernous sinus, while migraine is caused by arterial dilatation-stimulating trigeminal nerves around the vessels. The authors present a case of 47-year-old woman with a 4-month history of a temporal throbbing headache. As her symptoms were well controlled by triptans, her headache was considered to be migraine in type. However, a Barrow's type-D CCF was revealed by radiological examinations. Self-compression of common carotid artery method was initially tried for therapy of the CCF, but endovascular embolization was finally necessary due to intractable headache. Although the headache was considered arterial in origin, transvenous embolization of the left cavernous sinus successfully ameliorated the patient's symptoms. CCF should be considered as an unusual etiology of headaches that appear arterial in origin.