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1.  Neuroimaging for the Evaluation of Chronic Headaches 
Executive Summary
Objective
The objectives of this evidence based review are:
i) To determine the effectiveness of computed tomography (CT) and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans in the evaluation of persons with a chronic headache and a normal neurological examination.
ii) To determine the comparative effectiveness of CT and MRI scans for detecting significant intracranial abnormalities in persons with chronic headache and a normal neurological exam.
iii) To determine the budget impact of CT and MRI scans for persons with a chronic headache and a normal neurological exam.
Clinical Need: Condition and Target Population
Headaches disorders are generally classified as either primary or secondary with further sub-classifications into specific headache types. Primary headaches are those not caused by a disease or medical condition and include i) tension-type headache, ii) migraine, iii) cluster headache and, iv) other primary headaches, such as hemicrania continua and new daily persistent headache. Secondary headaches include those headaches caused by an underlying medical condition. While primary headaches disorders are far more frequent than secondary headache disorders, there is an urge to carry out neuroimaging studies (CT and/or MRI scans) out of fear of missing uncommon secondary causes and often to relieve patient anxiety.
Tension type headaches are the most common primary headache disorder and migraines are the most common severe primary headache disorder. Cluster headaches are a type of trigeminal autonomic cephalalgia and are less common than migraines and tension type headaches. Chronic headaches are defined as headaches present for at least 3 months and lasting greater than or equal to 15 days per month. The International Classification of Headache Disorders states that for most secondary headaches the characteristics of the headache are poorly described in the literature and for those headache disorders where it is well described there are few diagnostically important features.
The global prevalence of headache in general in the adult population is estimated at 46%, for tension-type headache it is 42% and 11% for migraine headache. The estimated prevalence of cluster headaches is 0.1% or 1 in 1000 persons. The prevalence of chronic daily headache is estimated at 3%.
Neuroimaging
Computed Tomography
Computed tomography (CT) is a medical imaging technique used to aid diagnosis and to guide interventional and therapeutic procedures. It allows rapid acquisition of high-resolution three-dimensional images, providing radiologists and other physicians with cross-sectional views of a person’s anatomy. CT scanning poses risk of radiation exposure. The radiation exposure from a conventional CT scanner may emit effective doses of 2-4mSv for a typical head CT.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a medical imaging technique used to aid diagnosis but unlike CT it does not use ionizing radiation. Instead, it uses a strong magnetic field to image a person’s anatomy. Compared to CT, MRI can provide increased contrast between the soft tissues of the body. Because of the persistent magnetic field, extra care is required in the magnetic resonance environment to ensure that injury or harm does not come to any personnel while in the environment.
Research Questions
What is the effectiveness of CT and MRI scanning in the evaluation of persons with a chronic headache and a normal neurological examination?
What is the comparative effectiveness of CT and MRI scanning for detecting significant intracranial abnormality in persons with chronic headache and a normal neurological exam?
What is the budget impact of CT and MRI scans for persons with a chronic headache and a normal neurological exam.
Research Methods
Literature Search
Search Strategy
A literature search was performed on February 18, 2010 using OVID MEDLINE, MEDLINE In-Process and Other Non-Indexed Citations, EMBASE, the Cumulative Index to Nursing & Allied Health Literature (CINAHL), the Cochrane Library, and the International Agency for Health Technology Assessment (INAHTA) for studies published from January, 2005 to February, 2010. Abstracts were reviewed by a single reviewer and, for those studies meeting the eligibility criteria full-text articles were obtained. Reference lists were also examined for any additional relevant studies not identified through the search. Articles with an unknown eligibility were reviewed with a second clinical epidemiologist and then a group of epidemiologists until consensus was established.
Inclusion Criteria
Systematic reviews, randomized controlled trials, observational studies
Outpatient adult population with chronic headache and normal neurological exam
Studies reporting likelihood ratio of clinical variables for a significant intracranial abnormality
English language studies
2005-present
Exclusion Criteria
Studies which report outcomes for persons with seizures, focal symptoms, recent/new onset headache, change in presentation, thunderclap headache, and headache due to trauma
Persons with abnormal neurological examination
Case reports
Outcomes of Interest
Primary Outcome
Probability for intracranial abnormality
Secondary Outcome
Patient relief from anxiety
System service use
System costs
Detection rates for significant abnormalities in MRI and CT scans
Summary of Findings
Effectiveness
One systematic review, 1 small RCT, and 1 observational study met the inclusion and exclusion criteria. The systematic review completed by Detsky, et al. reported the likelihood ratios of specific clinical variables to predict significant intracranial abnormalities. The RCT completed by Howard et al., evaluated whether neuroimaging persons with chronic headache increased or reduced patient anxiety. The prospective observational study by Sempere et al., provided evidence for the pre-test probability of intracranial abnormalities in persons with chronic headache as well as minimal data on the comparative effectiveness of CT and MRI to detect intracranial abnormalities.
Outcome 1: Pre-test Probability.
The pre-test probability is usually related to the prevalence of the disease and can be adjusted depending on the characteristics of the population. The study by Sempere et al. determined the pre-test probability (prevalence) of significant intracranial abnormalities in persons with chronic headaches defined as headache experienced for at least a 4 week duration with a normal neurological exam. There is a pre-test probability of 0.9% (95% CI 0.5, 1.4) in persons with chronic headache and normal neurological exam. The highest pre-test probability of 5 found in persons with cluster headaches. The second highest, that of 3.7, was reported in persons with indeterminate type headache. There was a 0.75% rate of incidental findings.
Likelihood ratios for detecting a significant abnormality
Clinical findings from the history and physical may be used as screening test to predict abnormalities on neuroimaging. The extent to which the clinical variable may be a good predictive variable can be captured by reporting its likelihood ratio. The likelihood ratio provides an estimate of how much a test result will change the odds of having a disease or condition. The positive likelihood ratio (LR+) tells you how much the odds of having the disease increases when a test is positive. The negative likelihood ratio (LR-) tells you how much the odds of having the disease decreases when the test is negative.
Detsky et al., determined the likelihood ratio for specific clinical variable from 11 studies. There were 4 clinical variables with both statistically significant positive and negative likelihood ratios. These included: abnormal neurological exam (LR+ 5.3, LR- 0.72), undefined headache (LR+ 3.8, LR- 0.66), headache aggravated by exertion or valsalva (LR+ 2.3, LR- 0.70), and headache with vomiting (LR+ 1.8, and LR- 0.47). There were two clinical variables with a statistically significant positive likelihood ratio and non significant negative likelihood ratio. These included: cluster-type headache (LR+ 11, LR- 0.95), and headache with aura (LR+ 12.9, LR- 0.52). Finally, there were 8 clinical variables with both statistically non significant positive and negative likelihood ratios. These included: headache with focal symptoms, new onset headache, quick onset headache, worsening headache, male gender, headache with nausea, increased headache severity, and migraine type headache.
Outcome 2: Relief from Anxiety
Howard et al. completed an RCT of 150 persons to determine if neuroimaging for headaches was anxiolytic or anxiogenic. Persons were randomized to receiving either an MRI scan or no scan for investigation of their headache. The study population was stratified into those persons with a Hospital Anxiety and Depression scale (HADS) > 11 (the high anxiety and depression group) and those < 11 (the low anxiety and depression) so that there were 4 groups:
Group 1: High anxiety and depression, no scan group
Group 2: High anxiety and depression, scan group
Group 3: Low anxiety and depression, no scan group
Group 4: Low anxiety and depression, scan group
Anxiety
There was no evidence for any overall reduction in anxiety at 1 year as measured by a visual analogue scale of ‘level of worry’ when analysed by whether the person received a scan or not. Similarly, there was no interaction between anxiety and depression status and whether a scan was offered or not on patient anxiety. Anxiety did not decrease at 1 year to any statistically significant degree in the high anxiety and depression group (HADS positive) compared with the low anxiety and depression group (HADS negative).
There are serious methodological limitations in this study design which may have contributed to these negative results. First, when considering the comparison of ‘scan’ vs. ‘no scan’ groups, 12 people (16%) in the ‘no scan group’ actually received a scan within the follow up year. If indeed scanning does reduce anxiety then this contamination of the ‘no scan’ group may have reduced the effect between the groups results resulting in a non significant difference in anxiety scores between the ‘scanned’ and the ‘no scan’ group. Second, there was an inadequate sample size at 1 year follow up in each of the 4 groups which may have contributed to a Type II statistical error (missing a difference when one may exist) when comparing scan vs. no scan by anxiety and depression status. Therefore, based on the results and study limitations it is inconclusive as to whether scanning reduces anxiety.
Outcome 3: System Services
Howard et al., considered services used and system costs a secondary outcome. These were determined by examining primary care case notes at 1 year for consultation rates, symptoms, further investigations, and contact with secondary and tertiary care.
System Services
The authors report that the use of neurologist and psychiatrist services was significantly higher for those persons not offered as scan, regardless of their anxiety and depression status (P<0.001 for neurologist, and P=0.033 for psychiatrist)
Outcome 4: System Costs
System Costs
There was evidence of statistically significantly lower system costs if persons with high levels of anxiety and depression (Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale score >11) were provided with a scan (P=0.03 including inpatient costs, and 0.047 excluding inpatient costs).
Comparative Effectiveness of CT and MRI Scans
One study reported the detection rate for significant intracranial abnormalities using CT and MRI. In a cohort of 1876 persons with a non acute headache defined as any type of headache that had begun at least 4 weeks before enrolment Sempere et al. reported that the detection rate was 19/1432 (1.3%) using CT and 4/444 (0.9%) using MRI. Of 119 normal CT scans 2 (1.7%) had significant intracranial abnormality on MRI. The 2 cases were a small meningioma, and an acoustic neurinoma.
Summary
The evidence presented can be summarized as follows:
Pre-test Probability
Based on the results by Sempere et al., there is a low pre-test probability for intracranial abnormalities in persons with chronic headaches and a normal neurological exam (defined as headaches experiences for a minimum of 4 weeks). The Grade quality of evidence supporting this outcome is very low.
Likelihood Ratios
Based on the systematic review by Detsky et al., there is a statistically significant positive and negative likelihood ratio for the following clinical variables: abnormal neurological exam, undefined headache, headache aggravated by exertion or valsalva, headache with vomiting. Grade quality of evidence supporting this outcome is very low.
Based on the systematic review by Detsky et al. there is a statistically significant positive likelihood ratio but non statistically significant negative likelihood ratio for the following clinical variables: cluster headache and headache with aura. The Grade quality of evidence supporting this outcome is very low.
Based on the systematic review by Detsky et al., there is a non significant positive and negative likelihood ratio for the following clinical variables: headache with focal symptoms, new onset headache, quick onset headache, worsening headache, male gender, headache with nausea, increased headache severity, migraine type headache. The Grade quality of evidence supporting this outcome is very low.
Relief from Anxiety
Based on the RCT by Howard et al., it is inconclusive whether neuroimaging scans in persons with a chronic headache are anxiolytic. The Grade quality of evidence supporting this outcome is low.
System Services
Based on the RCT by Howard et al. scanning persons with chronic headache regardless of their anxiety and/or depression level reduces service use. The Grade quality of evidence is low.
System Costs
Based on the RCT by Howard et al., scanning persons with a score greater than 11 on the High Anxiety and Depression Scale reduces system costs. The Grade quality of evidence is moderate.
Comparative Effectiveness of CT and MRI Scans
There is sparse evidence to determine the relative effectiveness of CT compared with MRI scanning for the detection of intracranial abnormalities. The Grade quality of evidence supporting this is very low.
Economic Analysis
Ontario Perspective
Volumes for neuroimaging of the head i.e. CT and MRI scans, from the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) data set were used to investigate trends in the province for Fiscal Years (FY) 2004-2009.
Assumptions were made in order to investigate neuroimaging of the head for the indication of headache. From the literature, 27% of all CT and 13% of all MRI scans for the head were assumed to include an indication of headache. From that same retrospective chart review and personal communication with the author 16% of CT scans and 4% of MRI scans for the head were for the sole indication of headache. From the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC) wait times data, 73% of all CT and 93% of all MRI scans in the province, irrespective of indication were outpatient procedures.
The expenditure for each FY reflects the volume for that year and since volumes have increased in the past 6 FYs, the expenditure has also increased with a pay-out reaching 3.0M and 2.8M for CT and MRI services of the head respectively for the indication of headache and a pay-out reaching 1.8M and 0.9M for CT and MRI services of the head respectively for the indication of headache only in FY 08/09.
Cost per Abnormal Finding
The yield of abnormal finding for a CT and MRI scan of the head for the indication of headache only is 2% and 5% respectively. Based on these yield a high-level estimate of the cost per abnormal finding with neuroimaging of the head for headache only can be calculated for each FY. In FY 08/09 there were 37,434 CT and 16,197 MRI scans of the head for headache only. These volumes would generate a yield of abnormal finding of 749 and 910 with a CT scan and MRI scan respectively. The expenditure for FY 08/09 was 1.8M and 0.9M for CT and MRI services respectively. Therefore the cost per abnormal finding would be $2,409 for CT and $957 for MRI. These cost per abnormal finding estimates were limited because they did not factor in comparators or the consequences associated with an abnormal reading or FNs. The estimates only consider the cost of the neuroimaging procedure and the yield of abnormal finding with the respective procedure.
PMCID: PMC3377587  PMID: 23074404
2.  Overview of diagnosis and management of paediatric headache. Part I: diagnosis 
Headache is the most common somatic complaint in children and adolescents. The evaluation should include detailed history of children and adolescents completed by detailed general and neurological examinations. Moreover, the possible role of psychological factors, life events and excessively stressful lifestyle in influencing recurrent headache need to be checked. The choice of laboratory tests rests on the differential diagnosis suggested by the history, the character and temporal pattern of the headache, and the physical and neurological examinations. Subjects who have any signs or symptoms of focal/progressive neurological disturbances should be investigated by neuroimaging techniques. The electroencephalogram and other neurophysiological examinations are of limited value in the routine evaluation of headaches. In a primary headache disorder, headache itself is the illness and headache is not attributed to any other disorder (e.g. migraine, tension-type headache, cluster headache and other trigeminal autonomic cephalgias). In secondary headache disorders, headache is the symptom of identifiable structural, metabolic or other abnormality. Red flags include the first or worst headache ever in the life, recent headache onset, increasing severity or frequency, occipital location, awakening from sleep because of headache, headache occurring exclusively in the morning associated with severe vomiting and headache associated with straining. Thus, the differential diagnosis between primary and secondary headaches rests mainly on clinical criteria. A thorough evaluation of headache in children and adolescents is necessary to make the correct diagnosis and initiate treatment, bearing in mind that children with headache are more likely to experience psychosocial adversity and to grow up with an excess of both headache and other physical and psychiatric symptoms and this creates an important healthcare problem for their future life.
doi:10.1007/s10194-011-0297-5
PMCID: PMC3056001  PMID: 21359874
Headache; Childhood; Paediatric headaches; Diagnosis; Epidemiology; Defining features
3.  Overview of diagnosis and management of paediatric headache. Part I: diagnosis 
Headache is the most common somatic complaint in children and adolescents. The evaluation should include detailed history of children and adolescents completed by detailed general and neurological examinations. Moreover, the possible role of psychological factors, life events and excessively stressful lifestyle in influencing recurrent headache need to be checked. The choice of laboratory tests rests on the differential diagnosis suggested by the history, the character and temporal pattern of the headache, and the physical and neurological examinations. Subjects who have any signs or symptoms of focal/progressive neurological disturbances should be investigated by neuroimaging techniques. The electroencephalogram and other neurophysiological examinations are of limited value in the routine evaluation of headaches. In a primary headache disorder, headache itself is the illness and headache is not attributed to any other disorder (e.g. migraine, tension-type headache, cluster headache and other trigeminal autonomic cephalgias). In secondary headache disorders, headache is the symptom of identifiable structural, metabolic or other abnormality. Red flags include the first or worst headache ever in the life, recent headache onset, increasing severity or frequency, occipital location, awakening from sleep because of headache, headache occurring exclusively in the morning associated with severe vomiting and headache associated with straining. Thus, the differential diagnosis between primary and secondary headaches rests mainly on clinical criteria. A thorough evaluation of headache in children and adolescents is necessary to make the correct diagnosis and initiate treatment, bearing in mind that children with headache are more likely to experience psychosocial adversity and to grow up with an excess of both headache and other physical and psychiatric symptoms and this creates an important healthcare problem for their future life.
doi:10.1007/s10194-011-0297-5
PMCID: PMC3056001  PMID: 21359874
Headache; Childhood; Paediatric headaches; Diagnosis; Epidemiology; Defining features
4.  Classification and clinical features of headache patients: an outpatient clinic study from China 
The Journal of Headache and Pain  2011;12(5):561-567.
This study aimed to analyze and classify the clinical features of headache in neurological outpatients. A cross-sectional study was conducted consecutively from March to May 2010 for headache among general neurological outpatients attending the First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University. Personal interviews were carried out and a questionnaire was used to collect medical records. Diagnosis of headache was according to the International classification of headache disorders, 2nd edition (ICHD-II). Headache patients accounted for 19.5% of the general neurology clinic outpatients. A total of 843 (50.1%) patients were defined as having primary headache, 454 (27%) secondary headache, and 386 (23%) headache not otherwise specified (headache NOS). For primary headache, 401 (23.8%) had migraine, 399 (23.7%) tension-type headache (TTH), 8 (0.5%) cluster headache and 35 (2.1%) other headache types. Overall, migraine patients suffered (1) more severe headache intensity, (2) longer than 6 years of headache history and (3) more common analgesic medications use than TTH ones (p < 0.001).TTH patients had more frequent episodes of headaches than migraine patients, and typically headache frequency exceeded 15 days/month (p < 0.001); 22.8% of primary headache patients were defined as chronic daily headache. Almost 20% of outpatient visits to the general neurology department were of headache patients, predominantly primary headache of migraine and TTH. In outpatient headaches, more attention should be given to headache intensity and duration of headache history for migraine patients, while more attention to headache frequency should be given for the TTH ones.
doi:10.1007/s10194-011-0360-2
PMCID: PMC3173628  PMID: 21744226
Outpatient; Headache; Cross-sectional study; Clinical feature; Migraine
5.  Classification and clinical features of headache patients: an outpatient clinic study from China 
The Journal of Headache and Pain  2011;12(5):561-567.
This study aimed to analyze and classify the clinical features of headache in neurological outpatients. A cross-sectional study was conducted consecutively from March to May 2010 for headache among general neurological outpatients attending the First Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University. Personal interviews were carried out and a questionnaire was used to collect medical records. Diagnosis of headache was according to the International classification of headache disorders, 2nd edition (ICHD-II). Headache patients accounted for 19.5% of the general neurology clinic outpatients. A total of 843 (50.1%) patients were defined as having primary headache, 454 (27%) secondary headache, and 386 (23%) headache not otherwise specified (headache NOS). For primary headache, 401 (23.8%) had migraine, 399 (23.7%) tension-type headache (TTH), 8 (0.5%) cluster headache and 35 (2.1%) other headache types. Overall, migraine patients suffered (1) more severe headache intensity, (2) longer than 6 years of headache history and (3) more common analgesic medications use than TTH ones (p < 0.001).TTH patients had more frequent episodes of headaches than migraine patients, and typically headache frequency exceeded 15 days/month (p < 0.001); 22.8% of primary headache patients were defined as chronic daily headache. Almost 20% of outpatient visits to the general neurology department were of headache patients, predominantly primary headache of migraine and TTH. In outpatient headaches, more attention should be given to headache intensity and duration of headache history for migraine patients, while more attention to headache frequency should be given for the TTH ones.
doi:10.1007/s10194-011-0360-2
PMCID: PMC3173628  PMID: 21744226
Outpatient; Headache; Cross-sectional study; Clinical feature; Migraine
6.  Cluster headache associated with acute maxillary sinusitis 
SpringerPlus  2013;2:509.
Background
Cluster headache is a primary headache by definition not caused by any known underlying structural pathology. However, symptomatic cases have been described, for example tumours, particularly pituitary adenomas, malformations, and infections/inflammations. The evaluation of cluster headache is an issue unresolved.
Case description
I present a case of a 24-year-old patient who presented with a 4-week history of side-locked attacks of pain located in the left orbit. He satisfied the revised International Classification of Headache Disorders criteria for cluster headache. His medical and family histories were unremarkable. There was no history of headache. A diagnosis of cluster headache was made. The patient responded to symptomatic treatment. Low-dose computer tomography scan after 2 weeks displayed a left-sided acute maxillary sinusitis. The headache attacks resolved completely after treatment with antibiotics and sinus puncture.
Discussion and evaluation
Although I cannot exclude an unintentional comorbidity, in my opinion, the co-occurrence of an acute maxillary sinusitis with unilateral headache, in a hitherto headache-free man, points toward the fact that in this case the cluster headache was caused or triggered by the sinusitis. The headache attacks resolved completely after the treatment and the patient also remained headache free at the follow-up. The response of the headache to sumatriptan and other typical cluster headache medications does not exclude a secondary form. Symptomatic cluster headaches responsive to this therapy have been described. Associated cranial lesions such as infections have been reported in cluster headache patients and the attacks may be clinically indistinguishable from the primary form.
Conclusions
Neuroimaging, preferably contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging including sinuses should always be considered in patients with cluster headache despite normal neurological examination. Acute maxillary sinusitis can present as cluster headache.
doi:10.1186/2193-1801-2-509
PMCID: PMC3795873  PMID: 24133652
Cluster headache; Acute maxillary sinusitis; Secondary; Symptomatic; Infection
7.  The evaluation and management of paediatric headaches 
Paediatrics & Child Health  2009;14(1):24-30.
The management of patients with headaches is a major component of every paediatric practice. In a nationally representative sample of Canadian adolescents, it was found that 26.6% of those 12 to 13 years of age and 31.2% of those 14 to 15 years of age reported that they experienced headaches at least once per week.
The diagnosis of headaches in children and adolescents is established through a headache history in the vast majority of patients. Specific questions can identify those at most risk for headaches secondary to underlying pathology. Similarly, the examination should be tailored to identify those who require further investigation. Investigations are not routinely indicated for paediatric headache, but neuroimaging should be considered in children whose headaches do not meet the criteria for one of the primary headache syndromes and in those with an abnormal neurological examination.
The optimal treatment of primary headaches should begin with nonpharmacological methods. Preventive pharmacological therapy should be considered when headaches significantly impair the patient’s quality of life. Flunarizine may be valuable in paediatric headache prevention, and ibuprofen, acetaminophen and nasal sumatriptan may be effective in the acute management of headaches.
PMCID: PMC2661331  PMID: 19436460
Headaches; Ibuprofen; Migraine
8.  Use of the Emergency Department for Severe Headache. A population-based study 
Headache  2008;49(1):21-30.
Background
Although headache is a common emergency department (ED) chief complaint, the role of the ED in the management of primary headache disorders has rarely been assessed from a population perspective. We determined frequency of ED use and risk factors for use among patients suffering severe headache.
Methods
As part of the American Migraine Prevalence and Prevention study, a validated self-administered questionnaire was mailed to 24,000 severe headache sufferers, who were randomly drawn from a larger sample constructed to be socio-demographically representative of the US population. Participants were asked a series of questions on headache management, healthcare system use, socio-demographic features, and number of ED visits for management of headache in the previous 12 months. In keeping with the work of others, “frequent” ED use was defined as a particpants report of four or more visits to the ED for treatment of a headache in the previous 12 months. Headaches were categorized into specific diagnoses using a validated methodology.
Results
Of 24,000 surveys, 18,514 were returned, and 13,451 (56%) provided complete data on ED use. Socio-demographic characteristics did not differ substantially between responders and non-responders. Among the 13,451 responders, over the course of the previous year, 12,592 (94%) did not visit the ED at all, 415 (3%) visited the ED once, and 444 (3%) visited the ED more than once. Patients with severe episodic tension-type headache were less likely to use the ED than patients with severe episodic migraine (OR 0.4 [95%CI 0.3, 0.6]). Frequent ED use was reported by 1% of the total sample or 19% (95%CI: 17, 22%) of subjects who used the ED in the previous year, though frequent users accounted for 51% (95%CI: 49, 53) of all ED visits. Predictors of ED use included markers of disease severity, elevated depression scores, low socio-economic status, and a predilection for ED use for conditions other than headache.
Conclusions
Most individuals suffering severe headaches do not use the ED over the course of a single year. The majority of ED visits for severe headache are accounted for by a small subset of all ED users. Increasing disease severity and depression are the most readily addressable factors associated with ED use.
doi:10.1111/j.1526-4610.2008.01282.x
PMCID: PMC2615458  PMID: 19040677
9.  Basal cutaneous pain threshold in headache patients 
The Journal of Headache and Pain  2011;12-12(3):303-310.
The aim of this study was to analyze cutaneous pain threshold (CPT) during the interictal phase in headache patients, and the relationships between headache frequency and analgesic use. A consecutive series of 98 headache patients and 26 sex- and age-balanced controls were evaluated. Acute allodynia (AA) was assessed by Jakubowski questionnaire, and interictal allodynia (IA) by a skin test with calibrated monofilaments. AA is widely known as a symptom more present in migraine than in TTH spectrum: in our study this was confirmed only in cases of episodic attacks. When headache index rises towards chronicization, the prevalence of AA increases in both headache spectrums (χ2 13.55; p < 0.01). AA was associated with IA only in cases of chronic headache. When headache becomes chronic, mostly in presence of medication overuse, interictal CPT decreases and IA prevalence increases (χ2 20.44; p < 0.01), with closer association than AA. In MOH patients there were no significant differences depending on the diagnosis of starting headache (migraine or tension type headache) and, in both groups, we found the overuse of analgesics plays an important role: intake of more than one daily drug dramatically reduces the CPT (p < 0.05). Thus, when acute allodynia increases frequency, worsens or appears for the first time in patients with a long-standing history of chronic headache, it could reasonably suggest that the reduction of CPT had started, without using a specific practical skin test but simply by questioning clinical headache history. In conclusion, these results indicate that the role of medication overuse is more important than chronicization in lowering CPT, and suggest that prolonged periods of medication overuse can interfere with pain perception by a reduction of the pain threshold that facilitates the onset of every new attack leading to chronicization.
doi:10.1007/s10194-011-0313-9
PMCID: PMC3094665  PMID: 21336562
Headache; Pain threshold; Allodynia; Central sensitization; Medicine overuse
10.  Basal cutaneous pain threshold in headache patients 
The Journal of Headache and Pain  2011;12(3):303-310.
The aim of this study was to analyze cutaneous pain threshold (CPT) during the interictal phase in headache patients, and the relationships between headache frequency and analgesic use. A consecutive series of 98 headache patients and 26 sex- and age-balanced controls were evaluated. Acute allodynia (AA) was assessed by Jakubowski questionnaire, and interictal allodynia (IA) by a skin test with calibrated monofilaments. AA is widely known as a symptom more present in migraine than in TTH spectrum: in our study this was confirmed only in cases of episodic attacks. When headache index rises towards chronicization, the prevalence of AA increases in both headache spectrums (χ2 13.55; p < 0.01). AA was associated with IA only in cases of chronic headache. When headache becomes chronic, mostly in presence of medication overuse, interictal CPT decreases and IA prevalence increases (χ2 20.44; p < 0.01), with closer association than AA. In MOH patients there were no significant differences depending on the diagnosis of starting headache (migraine or tension type headache) and, in both groups, we found the overuse of analgesics plays an important role: intake of more than one daily drug dramatically reduces the CPT (p < 0.05). Thus, when acute allodynia increases frequency, worsens or appears for the first time in patients with a long-standing history of chronic headache, it could reasonably suggest that the reduction of CPT had started, without using a specific practical skin test but simply by questioning clinical headache history. In conclusion, these results indicate that the role of medication overuse is more important than chronicization in lowering CPT, and suggest that prolonged periods of medication overuse can interfere with pain perception by a reduction of the pain threshold that facilitates the onset of every new attack leading to chronicization.
doi:10.1007/s10194-011-0313-9
PMCID: PMC3094665  PMID: 21336562
Headache; Pain threshold; Allodynia; Central sensitization; Medicine overuse
11.  Pitfalls in Neuroimaging of Headache: A Case Report and Review of the Literature 
Case Reports in Otolaryngology  2013;2013:735147.
Headache is a common symptom, with a lifetime prevalence of over 90% of the general population in the United Kingdom (UK). It accounts for 4.4% of consultations in primary care and 30% of neurology outpatient consultations. Neuroimaging is indicated in patients with red flag features for secondary headaches. The guidelines recommend CT or MRI scan to identify any intracranial pathology. We present a unique case where the initial noncontrast CT scan failed to identify a potential treatable cause for headache. A middle aged man presented with headache and underwent a CT scan without contrast enhancement. The scan was reported as normal. The headache persisted for years and the patient underwent a staging CT scan to investigate an oropharyngeal cancer. This repeat CT scan utilized contrast enhancement and revealed a meningioma. Along with other symptoms, headache is an established presenting complaint in patients with meningioma. The contrast enhanced CT brain proved superior to a nonenhanced CT scan in identifying the meningioma. In a patient with persistent headache where other causes are excluded and a scan is to be requested, perhaps contrast enhanced CT is a better option than a plain CT scan of brain.
doi:10.1155/2013/735147
PMCID: PMC3600267  PMID: 23533889
12.  Cluster headache and arachnoid cyst 
SpringerPlus  2013;2:4.
Background
Cluster headache is a primary headache by definition not caused by any known underlying structural pathology. However, symptomatic cases have been described, e.g. tumours, particularly pituitary adenomas, malformations, and infections/inflammations. The evaluation of cluster headache is an issue unresolved.
Case description
We present a case of a 43-year-old patient who presented with a 2-month history of side-locked attacks of pain located in the left orbit. He satisfied the revised International Classification of Headache Disorders criteria for cluster headache. His medical and family histories were unremarkable. There was no history of headache. A diagnosis of cluster headache was made. The patient responded to symptomatic treatment. Computer tomography and enhanced magnetic resonance imaging after 1 month displayed a supra- and intrasellar arachnoid cyst with mass effect on adjacent structures. After operation, the headache attacks resolved completely.
Discussion and evaluation
Although we cannot exclude an unintentional comorbidity, in our opinion, the co-occurrence of an arachnoid cyst with mass effect with unilateral headache, in a hitherto headache-free man, points toward the fact that in this case the CH was caused or triggered by the AC. The headache attacks resolved completely after the operation and the patient also remained headache free at the follow-up. The response of the headache to sumatriptan and other typical CH medications does not exclude a secondary form. Symptomatic CHs responsive to this therapy have been described. Associated cranial lesions such as tumours have been reported in CH patients and the attacks may be clinically indistinguishable from the primary form.
Conclusions
Neuroimaging, preferably contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging should always be considered in patients with cluster headache despite normal neurological examination. Late-onset cluster headache represents a condition that requires careful evaluation. Supra- and intrasellar arachnoid cyst can present as cluster headache.
doi:10.1186/2193-1801-2-4
PMCID: PMC3568463  PMID: 23419954
Cluster headache; Arachnoid cyst; Neuroimaging; Secondary; Symptomatic; Magnetic resonance imaging; Computer tomography
13.  Cluster headache associated with a clinically non-functioning pituitary adenoma: a case report 
Introduction
Cluster headache belongs to a group of primary headache entities: the trigeminal autonomic cephalalgias. Cluster headache is the most common variant. The headache is usually severe and it is also associated with autonomic symptoms. Secondary causes of cluster headache have been reported, such as intracranial artery aneurysms and tumors. The question of when to carry out neuroimaging in patients with cluster headache is yet unsettled. To the best of the author's knowledge, cluster headache associated with a clinically non-functioning pituitary adenoma (chromophobe adenoma) has not been described. This case report describes the case of a man with cluster headache where the evaluation showed a clinically non-functioning pituitary adenoma.
Case presentation
This case involved a 49-year-old Caucasian man who presented with a one-month history of side-locked attacks of pain located in the right orbit. His symptoms fulfilled the criteria for cluster headache and a diagnosis of cluster headache was made. The patient responded to symptomatic treatment. Enhanced magnetic resonance imaging showed a pituitary adenoma. Further evaluations including hormonal screening revealed a clinically non-functioning pituitary adenoma (chromophobe adenoma). After surgery to remove the tumor, his headache attacks resolved totally.
Conclusion
Tumors have been reported in patients with cluster headache whose clinical attacks are identical to genuine cluster headache. A clinically non-functioning pituitary adenoma can present as cluster headache. This case emphasizes the need of imaging procedures in patients with cluster headache. Contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging including the sella turcica should always be done in patients with cluster headache.
doi:10.1186/1752-1947-8-451
PMCID: PMC4307905  PMID: 25526868
Cluster headache; Neuroimaging; Pituitary adenoma; Secondary; Symptomatic
14.  Putative pathophysiological mechanisms in recurrent hemicrania from aortic dissection: a case report 
BMC Research Notes  2015;8:246.
Background
Transient or permanent neurological symptoms occur in 17–40% of patients with aortic dissection. They can distract from or even mask the underlying life-threatening condition.
Case presentation
We present the case of a young Caucasian man who consulted for recurrent episodes of stereotyped right-sided sudden-onset severe headache. Upon questioning, he also reported a dull chest pain. Clinical examination and brain magnetic resonance imaging were unremarkable. The concomitant presence of chest pain made us consider aortic dissection. Contrast-enhanced cervico-thoraco-abdominal computerized tomography revealed type A aortic dissection. The patient underwent surgical replacement of the ascending aorta and reported no further episode of headache thereafter. Differential diagnosis of headache in this case includes paroxysmal hemicrania, cluster headache, migraine, trigeminal neuralgia and short lasting unilateral neuralgiform headache with conjunctival injection and tearing. Failure to match diagnostic criteria for any of these primary headache disorders and the resolution of pain episodes following surgery led us to postulate that these new-onset hemicrania episodes were symptomatic of aortic dissection. We hypothesize that aortic wall ischemia could have activated the trigeminovascular system and thereby caused hemicranial pain. Such an effect might be mediated by two different pathways that can be referred to as anatomical and humoral. The humoral hypothesis would posit that ischemia results in synthesis of pro-inflammatory mediators released from the aortic wall into the blood stream, such that they reach the central nervous system and directly stimulate specific receptors. The anatomical hypothesis would imply that pain signals generated by nociceptors in the aortic wall are transferred to the trigeminal ganglion via the cardiac plexus, the first cervical ganglion and the internal carotid nerve such that pain perception is referred to related cranio-cervical dermatomes.
Conclusion
In cases of isolated headache that does not match key diagnostic criteria for a primary headache entity; a thorough review of systems should be performed to look for symptoms that may indicate symptomatic headache from potentially life-threatening conditions. Neurologists should consider aortic dissection in patients presenting with acute headache and chest pain. Further clinical or experimental studies are required to refute or validate the pathophysiological hypothesis discussed here.
doi:10.1186/s13104-015-1223-8
PMCID: PMC4470358  PMID: 26082134
Headache; Hemicrania; Etiology; Pathophysiology; Aortic dissection
15.  Combination of acupuncture and spinal manipulative therapy: management of a 32-year-old patient with chronic tension-type headache and migraine 
Journal of Chiropractic Medicine  2012;11(3):192-201.
Objective
The purpose of this case study is to describe the treatment using acupuncture and spinal manipulation for a patient with a chronic tension-type headache and episodic migraines.
Clinical Features
A 32-year-old woman presented with headaches of 5 months' duration. She had a history of episodic migraine that began in her teens and had been controlled with medication. She had stopped taking the prescription medications because of gastrointestinal symptoms. A neurologist diagnosed her with mixed headaches, some migrainous and some tension type. Her headaches were chronic, were daily, and fit the International Classification of Headache Disorders criteria of a chronic tension-type headache superimposed with migraine.
Intervention and Outcome
After 5 treatments over a 2-week period (the first using acupuncture only, the next 3 using acupuncture and chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy), her headaches resolved. The patient had no recurrences of headaches in her 1-year follow-up.
Conclusion
The combination of acupuncture with chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy was a reasonable alternative in treating this patient's chronic tension-type headaches superimposed with migraine.
doi:10.1016/j.jcm.2012.02.003
PMCID: PMC3437348  PMID: 23449932
Acupuncture; Acupuncture analgesia; Headache disorders; Migraine headaches; Tension-type headaches
16.  Reference programme: Diagnosis and treatment of headache disorders and facial pain. Danish Headache Society, 2nd Edition, 2012 
The Journal of Headache and Pain  2012;13(Suppl 1):1-29.
Headache and facial pain are among the most common, disabling and costly disorders in Europe. Correct diagnosis and treatment is important for achieving a high quality of care. As a national organisation whose role is to educate and advocate for the needs of patients with primary headaches, the Danish Headache Society has set up a task force to develop a set of guidelines for the diagnosis, organisation and treatment of the most common types of headaches and for trigeminal neuralgia in Denmark. The guideline was published in Danish in 2010 and has been a great success. The Danish Headache Society decided to translate and publish our guideline in English to stimulate the discussion on optimal organisation and treatment of headache disorders and to encourage other national headache authorities to produce their own guidelines. The recommendations regarding the most common primary headaches and trigeminal neuralgia are largely in accordance with the European guidelines produced by the European Federation of Neurological Societies. The guideline provides a practical tool for use in daily clinical practice for primary care physicians, neurologists with a common interest in headache, as well as other health-care professionals treating headache patients. The guideline first describes how to examine and diagnose the headache patient and how headache treatment is organised in Denmark. This description is followed by individual sections on the characteristics, diagnosis, differential diagnosis and treatment of each of the major headache disorders and trigeminal neuralgia. The guideline includes many tables to facilitate a quick overview. Finally, the particular problems regarding headache in children and headache in relation to female hormones and pregnancy are described.
doi:10.1007/s10194-011-0402-9
PMCID: PMC3266527  PMID: 22270537
17.  Reference programme: Diagnosis and treatment of headache disorders and facial pain. Danish Headache Society, 2nd Edition, 2012 
The Journal of Headache and Pain  2012;13(Suppl 1):1-29.
Headache and facial pain are among the most common, disabling and costly disorders in Europe. Correct diagnosis and treatment is important for achieving a high quality of care. As a national organisation whose role is to educate and advocate for the needs of patients with primary headaches, the Danish Headache Society has set up a task force to develop a set of guidelines for the diagnosis, organisation and treatment of the most common types of headaches and for trigeminal neuralgia in Denmark. The guideline was published in Danish in 2010 and has been a great success. The Danish Headache Society decided to translate and publish our guideline in English to stimulate the discussion on optimal organisation and treatment of headache disorders and to encourage other national headache authorities to produce their own guidelines. The recommendations regarding the most common primary headaches and trigeminal neuralgia are largely in accordance with the European guidelines produced by the European Federation of Neurological Societies. The guideline provides a practical tool for use in daily clinical practice for primary care physicians, neurologists with a common interest in headache, as well as other health-care professionals treating headache patients. The guideline first describes how to examine and diagnose the headache patient and how headache treatment is organised in Denmark. This description is followed by individual sections on the characteristics, diagnosis, differential diagnosis and treatment of each of the major headache disorders and trigeminal neuralgia. The guideline includes many tables to facilitate a quick overview. Finally, the particular problems regarding headache in children and headache in relation to female hormones and pregnancy are described.
doi:10.1007/s10194-011-0402-9
PMCID: PMC3266527  PMID: 22270537
18.  Evaluating integrated headache care: a one-year follow-up observational study in patients treated at the Essen headache centre 
BMC Neurology  2011;11:124.
Background
Outpatient integrated headache care was established in 2005 at the Essen Headache Centre in Germany. This paper reports outcome data for this approach.
Methods
Patients were seen by a neurologist for headache diagnosis and recommendation for drug treatment. Depending on clinical needs, patients were seen by a psychologist and/or physical therapist. A 5-day headache-specific multidisciplinary treatment programme (MTP) was provided for patients with frequent or chronic migraine, tension type headache (TTH) and medication overuse headache (MOH). Subsequent outpatient treatment was provided by neurologists in private practice.
Results
Follow-up data on headache frequency and burden of disease were prospectively obtained in 841 patients (mean age 41.5 years) after 3, 6 and 12 months. At baseline mean headache frequency was 18.1 (SD = 1.6) days per month, compared to measurement at 1 year follow-up a mean reduction of 5.8 (SD = 11.9) headache days per month was observed in 486 patients (57.8%) after one year (TTH patients mean: -8.5 days per month; migraine mean: -3.2 days per month, patients with migraine and TTH mean: -5.9 days per month). A reduction in headache days ≥ 50% was observed in 306 patients (36.4%) independent of diagnosis, while headache frequency remains unchanged in 20.9% and increase in 21.3% of the patient.
Conclusion
Multidisciplinary outpatient headache centres offer an effective way to establish a three-tier treatment offer for difficult headache patients depending on clinical needs.
doi:10.1186/1471-2377-11-124
PMCID: PMC3203041  PMID: 21985562
19.  Migraine disability, healthcare utilization, and expenditures following treatment in a tertiary headache center 
Headache is among the most common disabling pain complaints. While many patients are managed in primary care or referral neurology practices, some patients have refractive situations that necessitate referral to a tertiary headache center. Increasing frequency of headache is strongly associated with increasing disability and workplace absenteeism as well as increased healthcare utilization. Previous studies have demonstrated that headache care in a dedicated tertiary center is associated with a decrease in headache frequency and improvement in other characteristics that persist over extended periods of time. Previous studies have not examined the impact of this treatment on subsequent healthcare utilization and associated expenditures. In this study we examined the changes in healthcare utilization and expenditures as well as the impact on disability and workplace productivity with treatment in a tertiary headache care center that used initial treatment settings of inpatient and outpatient care and considered the difference between those with episodic migraine and those with chronic migraine and its complications. Tertiary care was found to produce positive reductions in disability, healthcare utilization, and expenditures. These results suggest that earlier tertiary-level intervention may avoid the complications of migraine that occur in some patients and the increasing costs and utilization of care associated with higher disability.
PMCID: PMC3777091  PMID: 24082410
20.  A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study of Breath Powered Nasal Delivery of Sumatriptan Powder (AVP-825) in the Treatment of Acute Migraine (The TARGET Study) 
Headache  2014;55(1):88-100.
Objective
To evaluate the efficacy and safety of AVP-825, a drug–device combination of low-dose sumatriptan powder (22 mg loaded dose) delivered intranasally through a targeted Breath Powered device vs an identical device containing lactose powder (placebo device) in the treatment of migraine headache.
Background
Early treatment of migraine headaches is associated with improved outcome, but medication absorption after oral delivery may be delayed in migraineurs because of reduced gastric motility. Sumatriptan powder administered with an innovative, closed-palate, Bi-Directional, Breath Powered intranasal delivery mechanism is efficiently absorbed across the nasal mucosa and produces fast absorption into the circulation. Results from a previously conducted placebo-controlled study of AVP-825 showed a high degree of headache relief with an early onset of action (eg, 74% AVP-825 vs 38% placebo device at 1 hour, P < .01).
Methods
In this double-blind, placebo-controlled, parallel-group study in adults with a history of migraine with or without aura, participants were randomized via computer-generated lists to AVP-825 or placebo device to treat a single migraine headache of moderate or severe intensity. The primary endpoint was headache relief (defined as reduction of headache pain intensity from severe or moderate migraine headache to mild or none) at 2 hours post-dose.
Results
Two hundred and thirty patients (116 AVP-825 and 114 placebo device) were randomized, of whom 223 (112 and 111, respectively) experienced a qualifying migraine headache (their next migraine headache that reached moderate or severe intensity). A significantly greater proportion of AVP-825 patients reported headache relief at 2 hours post-dose compared with those using the placebo device (68% vs 45%, P = .002, odds ratio 2.53, 95% confidence interval [1.45, 4.42]). Between-group differences in headache relief were evident as early as 15 minutes, reached statistical significance at 30 minutes post-dose (42% vs 27%, P = .03), and were sustained at 24 hours (44% vs 24%, P = .002) and 48 hours (34% vs 20%, P = .01). Thirty-four percent of patients treated with AVP-825 were pain-free at 2 hours compared with 17% using the placebo device (P = .008). More AVP-825 patients reported meaningful pain relief (patient interpretation) of migraine within 2 hours of treatment vs placebo device (70% vs 45%, P < .001), and fewer required rescue medication (37% vs 52%, P = .02). Total migraine freedom (patients with no headache, nausea, phonophobia, photophobia, or vomiting) reached significance following treatment with AVP-825 at 1 hour (19% vs 9%; P = .04). There were no serious adverse events (AEs), and no systemic AEs occurred in more than one patient. Chest pain or pressure was not reported, and only one patient taking AVP-825 reported mild paresthesia. No other triptan sensations were reported.
Conclusions
Targeted delivery of a low-dose of sumatriptan powder via a novel, closed-palate, Breath Powered, intranasal device (AVP-825) provided fast relief of moderate or severe migraine headache in adults that reached statistical significance over placebo by 30 minutes. The treatment was well tolerated with a low incidence of systemic AEs.
doi:10.1111/head.12472
PMCID: PMC4320758  PMID: 25355310
migraine; Bi-Directional nasal delivery; Breath Powered nasal delivery; intranasal delivery; sumatriptan powder; AVP-825
21.  Application of ICHD 2nd edition criteria for primary headaches with the aid of a computerised, structured medical record for the specialist 
The Journal of Headache and Pain  2005;6(4):205-210.
We tested the computerised, structured medical record by entering and analysing the consecutive clinical sheets of primary headaches in the episodic forms (200) and chronic headache (200) and the corresponding output diagnoses of patients attending our Headache Centre. A diagnosis of one of the primary headache forms was obtained in 67.9% of cases. A certain diagnosis of primary headache plus that of a probable form was obtained in 24.4% of cases (12.7% represented by chronic migraine (CM) or chronic tension–type headache (CTTH)+probable medicationoveruse headache). Only probable forms were diagnosed in the remaining 7.3% (as single probable diagnosis in 5.8% of cases or multiple diagnoses of probable forms in the remaining ones). The percentage of certain diagnoses mainly in the chronic headache group (28.4%), and to a lesser extent tension–type headache (6.5%), were obtained in 34.9% of cases. A certain diagnosis of one chronic form plus that of a probable form was obtained in 50.8% of cases (26.9% represented by probable medication–overuse headache). Only probable forms were diagnosed in 13.46% (as single probable diagnosis in 8.73% of cases or multiple diagnoses of probable forms in the remaining ones). In the other cases, the ICHD–II classification does not allow the diagnoses of CM, CTTH or probable forms and medicationoveruse headache because the mandatory criteria for the diagnoses are too stringent and do not reflect modifications of the headache pattern in relation to its chronicity. These preliminary results underscore the usefulness of a computerised device based on the ICHD 2nd edition for diagnostic purposes in tertiary centres dedicated to headaches in clinical practice as well as its relevance for research. This computerised device may help to validate the new diagnostic criteria and to answer some emerging questions from the application of the new classification version, the relevance of which should be verified in clinical practice.
doi:10.1007/s10194-005-0186-x
PMCID: PMC3452022  PMID: 16362665
ICHD 2nd edition; Classification criteria; Primary headaches; Computerised clinical sheet
22.  Classification and Clinical Features of Headache Disorders in Pakistan: A Retrospective Review of Clinical Data 
PLoS ONE  2009;4(6):e5827.
Background
Morbidity associated with primary headache disorders is a major public health problem with an overall prevalence of 46%. Tension-type headache and migraine are the two most prevalent causes. However, headache has not been sufficiently studied as a cause of morbidity in the developing world. Literature on prevalence and classification of these disorders in South Asia is scarce. The aim of this study is to describe the classification and clinical features of headache patients who seek medical advice in Pakistan.
Methods and Results
Medical records of 255 consecutive patients who presented to a headache clinic at a tertiary care hospital were reviewed. Demographic details, onset and lifetime duration of illness, pattern of headache, associated features and family history were recorded. International Classification of Headache Disorders version 2 was applied.
66% of all patients were women and 81% of them were between 16 and 49 years of age. Migraine was the most common disorder (206 patients) followed by tension-type headache (58 patients), medication-overuse headache (6 patients) and cluster headache (4 patients). Chronic daily headache was seen in 99 patients. Patients with tension-type headache suffered from more frequent episodes of headache than patients with migraine (p<0.001). Duration of each headache episode was higher in women with menstrually related migraine (p = 0.015). Median age at presentation and at onset was lower in patients with migraine who reported a first-degree family history of the disease (p = 0.003 and p<0.001 respectively).
Conclusions/Significance
Patients who seek medical advice for headache in Pakistan are usually in their most productive ages. Migraine and tension-type headache are the most common clinical presentations of headache. Onset of migraine is earlier in patients with first-degree family history. Menstrually related migraine affects women with headache episodes of longer duration than other patients and it warrants special therapeutic consideration. Follow-up studies to describe epidemiology and burden of headache in Pakistan are needed.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0005827
PMCID: PMC2688080  PMID: 19503794
23.  The validation of ID migraine™ screener in neurology outpatient clinics in Turkey 
The Journal of Headache and Pain  2007;8(4):217-223.
The aim of this study was to investigate the validity of the ID Migraine™ test in neurology outpatient clinics (NOCs), regardless of their presenting complaints. Patients admitted to 41 NOCs were screened. Eligible subjects (n=3682) were evaluated by a neurologist for headache diagnosis according to the International Headache Society criteria and asked the 3-item screening questions of the ID Migraine™ test. Of 3682 patients, 917 (24.9%) were diagnosed as migraine, whereas 1171 (31.8%) were ID Migraine™ test positive. The sensitivity of the ID Migraine™ test for neurologist’s diagnosis of migraine was 91.8%, specificity was 63.4%, positive predictive value was 71.9% and negative predictive value was 88.4%. The ID Migraine™ test is easy to use and a practical test that could alert the neurologist to diagnose patients having other complaints. This test would help to increase the diagnosis and treatment rate of undiagnosed migraine patients in NOCs.
doi:10.1007/s10194-007-0397-4
PMCID: PMC3451667  PMID: 17901923
Diagnosis; ID Migraine™; Migraine; Prevalence
24.  Migraine and Tension-Type Headache in Children and Adolescents Presenting to Neurology Clinics 
Iranian Journal of Pediatrics  2013;23(5):536-540.
Objective
Headache is one of the most common neurologic problems in children and adolescents. Primary headache including migraine and tension-type headache comprises the vast majority of headaches and are associated with marked incidence, prevalence, and individual and social cost. We aimed to assess demographic characteristics and to compare some factors related to primary headaches in children/ adolescents presented to neurology clinics of Tabriz University of Medical Sciences.
Methods
Children from 4 to 15 years of age with the diagnosis of primary headache (migraine or tension-type headaches) who presented to the neurology clinics affiliated to Tabriz University of Medical Sciences, Tabriz, Iran from March 2009 to October 2011 are included in this cross-sectional study. Data regarding the type of headache, history of atopy, peripartum asphyxia, and breast feeding, family history of headache and the socioeconomic status of the family were collected. The diagnosis was based on the international headache society diagnostic criteria for the primary headache disorders.
Findings
One hundred ninety children (107 females) with primary headache (88 patients with migraine and 102 patients with tension type headache) enrolled in the study. Peripartum asphyxia, history of atopy, family history of headache and low socioeconomic status (SES) were more common in patients with migraine (P-values: 0.007, 0.01, 0.001, 0.003; respectively).
Conclusion
Physicians need to extent their knowledge regarding the primary headaches. Peripartum asphyxia, history of atopy, headache in parents and low SES have been shown in the present study to be more prevalent in patients with migraine as compared to tension-type headache.
PMCID: PMC4006502  PMID: 24800013
Asphyxia; Atopy; Children; Migraine; Tension-Type Headache
25.  Serious neurological disorders in children with chronic headache 
Archives of Disease in Childhood  2005;90(9):937-940.
Methods: All children presenting to a specialist headache clinic over seven years with headache as their main complaint were assessed by clinical history, physical and neurological examination, neuroimaging where indicated, and by follow up using prospective headache diaries. Results: A total of 815 children and adolescents (1.25–18.75 years of age, mean 10.8 years (SD 2.9); 432 male) were assessed. Mean duration of headache was 21.2 months (SD 21.2). Neuroimaging (brain CT or MRI) was carried out on 142 (17.5%) children. The vast majority of patients had idiopathic headache (migraine, tension, or unclassified headaches). Fifty one children (6.3%) had other chronic neurological disorders that were unrelated to the headache. The headache in three children (0.37%, 95% CI 0.08% to 1.1%) was related to active intracranial pathology which was predictable on clinical findings in two children but was unexpected until a later stage in one child (0.12%, 95% CI 0.006% to 0.68%).
Conclusions: Chronic headache in childhood is rarely due to serious intracranial pathology. Careful history and thorough clinical examination will identify most patients with serious underlying brain abnormalities. Change in headache symptomatology or personality change should lower the threshold for imaging.
doi:10.1136/adc.2004.067256
PMCID: PMC1720577  PMID: 16113128

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