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January 1967

Carotidynia: A Distinct Syndrome

Author Affiliations
NEW YORKFrom the Department of Medicine, New York Hospital-Cornell Medical Center, New York.
Arch Otolaryngol. 1967;85(1):81-84. doi:10.1001/archotol.1967.00760040083016

HEAD AND NECK pain related to abnormalities in and around the extracranial carotid artery is unusual but not rare. Mechanisms include inflammatory infiltration of the arterial wall (cranial arteritis), dilatation (vascular headache), and extrinsic pressure with displacement (carotid body tumor, lymphadenitis). The purpose of this paper is to review clinical features of a common but infrequently recognized form of carotidynia which has a benign and self-limited course.

Clinical Data  Thirty-three patients constitute this series. One patient was seen in two separate attacks. All patients were personally examined by the author and all had an unequivocally positive "Fay test," ie, digital compression of the involved common or internal carotid artery invoked significant local pain and frequently reproduced the facial and head discomfort of the spontaneous attack. Pertinent data are summarized in Table 1. Sex distribution was approximately equal. The average age was 37, but span ranged from 15 to 78