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What is Vascular Algae of the Face?

What is Vascular Algae of the Face?

These are pains occurring in seizures in the face, and the clinical aspects of which are typical.

Signs of the disease

Touching men three times more than women, the syndrome of the vascular algae of the face (Sluder’s syndrome or “cluster headache” of the Anglo-Saxons) presents itself in a stereotyped fashion.

The pain starts suddenly without triggering cause (except sometimes taking alcohol or certain vasomotor substances).

Intense from the outset, burning type, always unilateral, it is localized in the orbit, irradiating at the temple and the forehead, in the maxillary region and at the occipital and cervical levels.

Vasomotor accompaniment signs present on the same side as the headache are frequently found: lacrimation, conjunctival redness, Claude Bernard Horner’s syndrome (myosis: contracted pupil, enophthalmia, ptosis: eyelid fall).

Vascular Algae of the Face

Evolution is characteristic with painful attacks that occur several times per 24 hours, more readily in the first half of the night or after meals at regular hours.The painful period most often ends abruptly in 1/2 hour to 2 hours. It is followed by a variable remission, from a few months to several years.

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As a general rule, the diagnosis is clinical but in some cases additional examinations are performed to eliminate secondary headaches or other pathologies.

In all cases, it is strongly advised to consult a specialized department in migraines and headaches for appropriate diagnosis, treatment and follow-up.


Always follow the prescribed treatment to the letter and not mix products on its own.

Treatment of first-line access is the administration of sumatriptan subcutaneously which is most often effective in a few minutes.

Inhalation of pure oxygen (8 liters / min for 15 minutes) is also used alone or in combination with sumatriptan. Oxygen therapy is more effective if given at the first symptoms.

The derivatives of rye ergot are sometimes used in second intention.

The purpose of the basic treatment is to space and prevent crises. It appeals to various molecules, with variable results:

  • The verapamil (Isoptine) at a dose of 120 mg or 240 mg LP. It is a drug used in cardiology.
  • The lithium second line, monitoring of serum lithium levels;
  • The indomethacincan sometimes be useful.

In severe cases and resistant to drug treatments, sometimes complex interventional treatments are proposed in some specialized centers.


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