Red ear syndrome

Division of Neurology, Department of Medicine, Dalhousie University, QEII Health Sciences Center, Halifax, Nova Scotia, B3H 3Y9, Canada.
Current Pain and Headache Reports (Impact Factor: 2.26). 09/2007; 11(4):313-6. DOI: 10.1007/s11916-007-0210-8
Source: PubMed


The red ear syndrome is a rare syndrome originally described by Lance in 1994. It involves pain in and around the ear and associated autonomic phenomena, the most significant of which is cutaneous erythema of the ear ipsilateral to the pain and obvious to the patient and examiner during the attack. It may well represent an auriculo-autonomic cephalgia and/or be part of the group of disorders recognized as trigeminal autonomic cephalalgias. As a syndrome, it still lacks specificity in regard to etiology, mechanisms, and treatment but is important to recognize clinically because of its associations.

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    • "Three patients (33%) had other symptoms including visual blurring in the ipsilateral eye, ipsilateral mydriasis and a feeling of flushing red hot ipsilateral ear in one patient each (Table 2). 'Red ear syndrome' was considered in the latter patient and felt to be clinically unlikely (Lance, 1996). "
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    ABSTRACT: Short-lasting unilateral neuralgiform headache attacks with conjunctival injection and tearing (SUNCT) and short-lasting unilateral neuralgiform headache attacks with cranial autonomic features (SUNA) are described, although SUNA is rarely reported. The phenotype of SUNCT and SUNA was characterized from a large series of patients (43 SUNCT, 9 SUNA). Three attack types were identified: stabs, groups of stabs and saw-tooth attacks. The mean duration of stabs was 58 s (1-600 s); stab groups, 396 s (10-1200 s); and saw-tooth, 1160 s (5-12 000s). The attack frequency was a mean of 59 attacks/day (2-600), and this depended largely on the type of attack. The pain was orbital, supraorbital or temporal in 38 (88%) SUNCT and 7 (78%) SUNA, and also occurred in the retro-orbital region, side, top, back of head, second and third trigeminal divisions, teeth, neck and ear. All SUNCT patients had conjunctival injection and tearing. Two SUNA patients had conjunctival injection, four had tearing, but none had both. Other cranial autonomic symptoms included nasal blockage, rhinorrhoea, eyelid oedema, facial sweating/flushing and ear flushing. Cutaneous stimuli triggered attacks in 74% of SUNCT but only in 22% of SUNA patients. The majority (95% SUNCT and 89% SUNA) had no refractory period between attacks. For SUNCT 58% and for SUNA 56% of patients were agitated with the attacks. We propose a new set of diagnostic criteria for these syndromes to better encompass the clinical presentations and which include a wider range of attack length, wider trigeminal pain distribution, cutaneous triggering and lack of refractory period.
    Brain 11/2006; 129(Pt 10):2746-60. DOI:10.1093/brain/awl202 · 9.20 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of the study was to determine the frequency of clinical allodynia, osmophobia and red ear syndrome in a young population. Medical records of the children admitted for headache between 1 December 2004 and 31 March 2005 were consecutively studied. A questionnaire was used to find the prevalence of allodynia, osmophobia and red ear syndrome. We visited 96 children with headache. The range of age was 6–18 years. We classified migraine in 57%, other primary headaches in 25% and secondary headaches in about 18%. The presence of ipsilateral clinical allodynia was 14.5% in migraine, osmophobia in 20% of migraine and red ear syndrome in about 24% of migraine cases and they were absent in the other two headache groups. Our study shows that features like osmophobia, allodynia and red ear syndrome are not uncommon in migraine while they are absent in other types of headache.
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    ABSTRACT: Trigeminal autonomic cephalgias (TACs) include a spectrum of primary headache syndromes associated with cranial autonomic dysfunction. Other types of headache and facial pain syndromes can be associated with marked localized facial or ear autonomic changes. We report on a group of patients suffering from episodic migraine with cranial autonomic features, patients with different presentations of the 'red ear syndrome' (RES), cluster headache with prominent lower facial involvement and crossover cases. In our experience crossover between TACs and migraine, RES and cluster headache is not uncommon. We propose that all these conditions belong to the same group and a unifying causative mechanism is proposed.
    Cephalalgia 09/2005; 25(8):605-11. DOI:10.1111/j.1468-2982.2005.00935.x · 4.89 Impact Factor
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