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CASE REPORT
Year : 2015  |  Volume : 24  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 79-81

Severe headache as a presenting complaint in sigmoid sinus thrombosis complicated by functional overlay


Department of Psychiatry, Smt. Nathiba Hargovandas Lakhmichand Municipal Medical College and Sheth Vadilal Sarabhai General Hospital, Ahmedabad, Gujarat, India

Correspondence Address:
Pradhyuman Chaudhary
Department of Psychiatry, Smt. Nathiba Hargovandas Lakhmichand Municipal Medical College and Sheth Vadilal Sarabhai General Hospital, Ahmedabad - 380 006, Gujarat
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/0972-6748.160941

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An otherwise serious and potentially fatal organic condition may present with a co-existing strong functional component. We encountered a female patient who presented with bouts of severe headache over the occipital region, associated with blurring of vision. Initially, non-contrast computed tomography (CT) scan (Brain) showed normal study, and she was deemed as having functional symptoms. Later, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) (Brain) showed filling defect in right sigmoid sinus and magnetic resonance (MR) venography confirmed right sigmoid sinus thrombosis. On adequate anticoagulation, she did not improve and still had bouts of severe headache, although no longer associated with impaired vision. The treating neurophysician concluded that symptoms could no longer be accounted for by the organic condition. Overt and covert psychosocial stressors were found to be present in a detailed psychological exploration. Psychological intervention effectively controlled the headache. Thus, functional overlay can complicate the clinical picture in a severe organic condition and may require active psychiatric intervention over and above medical treatment.


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