Tolosa-Hunt syndrome in a patient with systemic lupus erythematosus

Valentina Calistri, Claudio Mostardini, Patrizia Pantano, Alberto Pierallini, Claudio Colonnese, Francesca Caramia

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


We report a case of Tolosa-Hunt syndrome (THS) in a patient with systemic lupus erythematosus studied with MRI. Magnetic resonance showed enlargement of the cavernous sinus and compression of the carotid syphon by enhancing tissue. In particular, fat-suppressed T1-weighted images before and after contrast agent injection and MR angiography showed extension of the abnormal tissue to the apex of the orbit and narrowing of the internal carotid artery. A presumptive diagnosis of THS was made and steroid treatment was started with rapid relief of symptoms. Follow-up MR study after steroid therapy demonstrated subtotal resolution of the neuroradiological findings. Neuroradiological findings in THS are quite typical but they may be subtle; furthermore, the presence of a systemic disease may suggest secondary involvement of the cavernous sinus. Utilization of the appropriate MR techniques and follow-up exams may contribute to the diagnosis of THS even in the presence of other systemic diseases.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)341-344
Number of pages4
JournalEuropean Radiology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2002


  • MR angiography
  • MRI
  • Painful ophthalmoplegia
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Tolosa-Hunt syndrome

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Radiological and Ultrasound Technology


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