Headaches and Pineal Cyst: A Case–Control Study

Authors

  • Christian L. Seifert MD,

    1. From the Technische Universitaet Muenchen—Neurologische Klinik, Munich, Germany (Drs. Seifert, Woeller, Valet, Berthele, Tölle, and Sprenger); Technische Universitaet Muenchen—Abteilung fuer Neuroradiologie, Munich, Germany (Dr. Zimmer).
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  • Andreas Woeller MD,

    1. From the Technische Universitaet Muenchen—Neurologische Klinik, Munich, Germany (Drs. Seifert, Woeller, Valet, Berthele, Tölle, and Sprenger); Technische Universitaet Muenchen—Abteilung fuer Neuroradiologie, Munich, Germany (Dr. Zimmer).
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  • Michael Valet MD,

    1. From the Technische Universitaet Muenchen—Neurologische Klinik, Munich, Germany (Drs. Seifert, Woeller, Valet, Berthele, Tölle, and Sprenger); Technische Universitaet Muenchen—Abteilung fuer Neuroradiologie, Munich, Germany (Dr. Zimmer).
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  • Claus Zimmer MD,

    1. From the Technische Universitaet Muenchen—Neurologische Klinik, Munich, Germany (Drs. Seifert, Woeller, Valet, Berthele, Tölle, and Sprenger); Technische Universitaet Muenchen—Abteilung fuer Neuroradiologie, Munich, Germany (Dr. Zimmer).
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  • Achim Berthele MD,

    1. From the Technische Universitaet Muenchen—Neurologische Klinik, Munich, Germany (Drs. Seifert, Woeller, Valet, Berthele, Tölle, and Sprenger); Technische Universitaet Muenchen—Abteilung fuer Neuroradiologie, Munich, Germany (Dr. Zimmer).
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  • Thomas Tölle MD, PhD,

    1. From the Technische Universitaet Muenchen—Neurologische Klinik, Munich, Germany (Drs. Seifert, Woeller, Valet, Berthele, Tölle, and Sprenger); Technische Universitaet Muenchen—Abteilung fuer Neuroradiologie, Munich, Germany (Dr. Zimmer).
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  • Till Sprenger MD

    1. From the Technische Universitaet Muenchen—Neurologische Klinik, Munich, Germany (Drs. Seifert, Woeller, Valet, Berthele, Tölle, and Sprenger); Technische Universitaet Muenchen—Abteilung fuer Neuroradiologie, Munich, Germany (Dr. Zimmer).
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  • Conflict of Interest: None

Dr. Till Sprenger, Technische Universitaet Muenchen, Klinikum rechts der Isar, Neurologische Klinik und Poliklinik, Ismaningerstr. 22, 81675 Munich, Germany.

Abstract

Background.— Pineal cysts have been suggested to be linked to headache pathogenesis. However, no systematic studies on this topic have been performed so far.

Objective.— The aim of this study was to investigate the relationship between pineal cysts and headache and to determine the relevance of the cyst size in this context.

Methods.— We conducted a case–control study of patients who consulted the neurological department between 1999 and 2006 to investigate the relationship between pineal cysts and headache and to determine the relevance of the cyst size.

Results.— A total of 51 patients with pineal cyst were identified, thereby 51% were suffering from headache (half of them had migraine), whereas in the control group, only 25% had headache (thereof 31% suffered from migraine). There was a significant relationship between headache (as well as migraine) and pineal cysts (chi-square test), but no significant difference in pineal cyst diameter between the patient group with headache versus without headache (t-test).

Conclusions.— Our data provide evidence for a causal relationship between pineal cysts and headache, respectively, migraine in this patient cohort.

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