Unusual clinical course in pediatric Tolosa-Hunt syndrome

Chia Hao Kang, Yi Chuan Huang, Chun Chung Lui, Ying Chao Chang, Pi Lien Hung*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

7 Scopus citations


We report on a 7-year-old immunocompetent boy initially presenting with right-sided frontal cephalalgia, painful ophthalmoplegia, and ptosis for 1 month. Initial cerebrospinal fluid analysis produced normal results. Magnetic resonance imaging revealed an inflammatory pseudotumor of the right cavernous sinus after intravenous gadolinium administration, indicating a rare idiopathic inflammatory disorder of the cavernous sinus, i.e., Tolosa-Hunt syndrome. Ptosis and cephalalgia resolved after steroid treatment, although right-sided ophthalmoplegia remained. Breakthrough headache, associated with signs of meningeal irritation, developed 6 weeks later. Follow-up contrast-enhanced computed tomography revealed no enhancing cavernous soft tissue mass. A further lumbar puncture disclosed central nervous system infection with Staphylococcus saprophyticus. After 6 weeks of vancomycin, the headache resolved completely, and neuroimaging produced normal results. A diagnosis of Tolosa-Hunt syndrome should be rendered cautiously, because the etiology may involve a rare but not "idiopathic" infection. Moreover, if clinical signs are not fully responsive to steroid treatment, the underlying problems should receive careful investigation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)471-474
Number of pages4
JournalPediatric Neurology
Issue number6
StatePublished - 06 2011
Externally publishedYes


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