Carotidynia is pain associated with inflammation in the wall of the carotid artery. There is some controversy as to whether it is a distinct entity.

Synonym: Fay syndrome


Cause: some cases are associated with vasculitis but many are idiopathic


Common clinical features:

(1) neck pain, usually unilateral but occasionally bilateral. The pain radiates to the temporal and laryngeal regions

(2) headache


Less common findings:

(1) hoarseness

(2) difficulty swallowing

(3) syncope


Imaging studies show thickening of the carotid artery wall and/or contrast-enhanced signal surrounding the artery.


The patient shows a good response to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs or corticosteroids.

To read more or access our algorithms and calculators, please log in or register.