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Frey's syndrome

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Syndrome characterized by warmth and sweating in the malar region of the face on eating or thinking or talking about food, brought on by eating foods that produce a strong salivary stimulus. It may follow damage in the parotid region by trauma, mumps, purulent infection or parotidectomy. It is thought that autonomous fibres to salivary glands have become connected in error with the sweat glands when they become reconnected after the damage which originally caused their connection to be interrupted. Flushing prevalent in females, sweating in males. It can persist for life. Some cases are congenital and probably due to birth trauma. The term "auriculotemporal syndrome" is misleading, as the skin innervated by the greater auricular nerve, the lesser occipital nerve, the long buccal nerve, or any cutaneous branch of the cervical plexus, may be involved.

The first description of a unilateral gustatory hyperhidrosis was done as early as in 1757 by the French surgeon M. Duphenix and in 1847 by Baillarger. Frey correlated the unusual physiologic phenomena (1923) and applied the descriptive term «auriculotemporal syndrome».


  • M. Duphenix:
    Observations sur les fistules du canal salivaire de Stenon. I. Sur une playe compliquée à la joue ou le canal salivaire fut déchiré.
    Mémoires de l'Académie royale de chirurgie, 1757, III: 431-439.
  • L. E. Dupuy:
    Sur l'enèvement des ganglions gutturaux des nerfs trisplanchniques sur des chevaux.
    Journal de médecine, chirurgie, pharmacie, etc. Paris, 1816, 37: 340-350.
  • J. G. F. Baillarger:
    Mémoire sur l'obliteration du canal du Sténon.
    Gazette médicale de Paris, 1853, 23: 194-197.
  • L. Frey:
    Zespól nerwu uszno-skroniowego. 1923.
  • Le syndrome du nerf auriculo-temporal.
    Revue neurologique, Paris, 1923, 30 (2): 97-104.
  • Jason G. Williams, Mark E. P. Prince:
    Frey's Syndrome: A Case of Aberrant Nerve Regeneration.
    The Dalhouse Medical Journal, Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, May 1999.
We thank Patrick Jucker-Kupper, Switzerland, for information submitted.

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