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1.  The differential diagnosis of chronic daily headaches: an algorithm-based approach 
The Journal of Headache and Pain  2007;8(5):263-272.
Chronic daily headaches (CDHs) refers to primary headaches that happen on at least 15 days per month, for 4 or more hours per day, for at least three consecutive months. The differential diagnosis of CDHs is challenging and should proceed in an orderly fashion. The approach begins with a search for “red flags” that suggest the possibility of a secondary headache. If secondary headaches that mimic CDHs are excluded, either on clinical grounds or through investigation, the next step is to classify the headaches based on the duration of attacks. If the attacks last less than 4 hours per day, a trigeminal autonomic cephalalgia (TAC) is likely. TACs include episodic and chronic cluster headache, episodic and chronic paroxysmal hemicrania, SUNCT, and hypnic headache. If the duration is ≥4 h, a CDH is likely and the differential diagnosis encompasses chronic migraine, chronic tension-type headache, new daily persistent headache and hemicrania continua. The clinical approach to diagnosing CDH is the scope of this review.
doi:10.1007/s10194-007-0418-3
PMCID: PMC2793374  PMID: 17955166
Chronic daily headache; Differential diagnosis; Strategy
2.  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
3.  Other primary headaches 
Annals of Indian Academy of Neurology  2012;15(Suppl 1):S66-S71.
The ‘Other Primary Headaches’ include eight recognised benign headache disorders. Primary stabbing headache is a generally benign disorder which often co-exists with other primary headache disorders such as migraine and cluster headache. Primary cough headache is headache precipitated by valsalva; secondary cough has been reported particularly in association with posterior fossa pathology. Primary exertional headache can occur with sudden or gradual onset during, or immediately after, exercise. Similarly headache associated with sexual activity can occur with gradual evolution or sudden onset. Secondary headache is more likely with both exertional and sexual headache of sudden onset. Sudden onset headache, with maximum intensity reached within a minute, is termed thunderclap headache. A benign form of thunderclap headache exists. However, isolated primary and secondary thunderclap headache cannot be clinically differentiated. Therefore all headache of thunderclap onset should be investigated. The primary forms of the aforementioned paroxysmal headaches appear to be Indomethacin sensitive disorders. Hypnic headache is a rare disorder which is termed ‘alarm clock headache’, exclusively waking patients from sleep. The disorder can be Indomethacin responsive, but can also respond to Lithium and caffeine. New daily persistent headache is a rare and often intractable headache which starts one day and persists daily thereafter for at least 3 months. The clinical syndrome more often has migrainous features or is otherwise has a chronic tension-type headache phenotype. Management is that of the clinical syndrome. Hemicrania continua straddles the disorders of migraine and the trigeminal autonomic cephalalgias and is not dealt with in this review.
doi:10.4103/0972-2327.100012
PMCID: PMC3444217  PMID: 23024566
Cough headache; exertional headache; hypnic headache; primary headache disorders; stabbing headache
4.  Chronic paroxysmal hemicrania in paediatric age: report of two cases 
The Journal of Headache and Pain  2011;12(2):263-267.
Chronic paroxysmal hemicrania (CPH) is a rare primary headache syndrome, which is classified along with hemicrania continua and short-lasting unilateral neuralgiform headache attacks with conjunctival injection and tearing (SUNCT) as trigeminal autonomic cephalalgia (TACs). CPH is characterised by short-lasting (2–30 min), severe and multiple (more than 5/day) pain attacks. Headache is unilateral, and fronto-orbital-temporal pain is combined with cranial autonomic symptoms. According to the International Classification of Headache Disorders, 2nd edition, the attacks are absolutely responsive to indomethacin. CPH has been only rarely and incompletely described in the developmental age. Here, we describe two cases concerning a 7-year-old boy and a 11-year-old boy with short-lasting, recurrent headache combined with cranial autonomic features. Pain was described as excruciating, and was non-responsive to most traditional analgesic drugs. The clinical features of our children’s headache and the positive response to indomethacin led us to propose the diagnosis of CPH. Therefore, our children can be included amongst the very few cases of this trigeminal autonomic cephalgia described in the paediatric age.
doi:10.1007/s10194-011-0315-7
PMCID: PMC3072501  PMID: 21340658
Chronic paroxysmal hemicrania; Trigeminal autonomic cephalgias; Children; Indomethacin
5.  Chronic paroxysmal hemicrania in paediatric age: report of two cases 
The Journal of Headache and Pain  2011;12(2):263-267.
Chronic paroxysmal hemicrania (CPH) is a rare primary headache syndrome, which is classified along with hemicrania continua and short-lasting unilateral neuralgiform headache attacks with conjunctival injection and tearing (SUNCT) as trigeminal autonomic cephalalgia (TACs). CPH is characterised by short-lasting (2–30 min), severe and multiple (more than 5/day) pain attacks. Headache is unilateral, and fronto-orbital-temporal pain is combined with cranial autonomic symptoms. According to the International Classification of Headache Disorders, 2nd edition, the attacks are absolutely responsive to indomethacin. CPH has been only rarely and incompletely described in the developmental age. Here, we describe two cases concerning a 7-year-old boy and a 11-year-old boy with short-lasting, recurrent headache combined with cranial autonomic features. Pain was described as excruciating, and was non-responsive to most traditional analgesic drugs. The clinical features of our children’s headache and the positive response to indomethacin led us to propose the diagnosis of CPH. Therefore, our children can be included amongst the very few cases of this trigeminal autonomic cephalgia described in the paediatric age.
doi:10.1007/s10194-011-0315-7
PMCID: PMC3072501  PMID: 21340658
Chronic paroxysmal hemicrania; Trigeminal autonomic cephalgias; Children; Indomethacin
6.  Chronic headaches: from research to clinical practice 
The Journal of Headache and Pain  2005;6(4):175-178.
Chronic daily headache (CDH) is a heterogeneous group of headaches that includes primary and secondary varieties. Primary CDH is a frequent entity that probably affects 4–5% of the population. It can be subdivided into headaches of short duration (<4 h/attack) like chronic cluster headache, and disorders of long duration (>4 h/attack). Primary CDH of long duration includes transformed migraine, chronic tension–type headache, and new daily persistent headache and hemicrania continua. Analgesics, ergots and triptan overuse are frequent in all types of CDH. We revise recent insights into the epidemiology, pathophysiology, clinical characteristics and prognosis of CDH.
doi:10.1007/s10194-005-0177-y
PMCID: PMC3452019  PMID: 16362656
Chronic migraine; Chronic tension–type headache; New persistent daily headache; Physiopathology; Epidemiology
7.  Osmophobia in primary headaches 
The Journal of Headache and Pain  2005;6(4):213-215.
This study evaluates osmophobia (defined as an unpleasant perception, during a headache attack, of odours that are non–aversive or even pleasurable outside the attacks) in connection with the diagnosis of primary headaches. We recruited 775 patients from our Headache Centre (566 females, 209 males; age 38±12 years), of whom 477 were migraineurs without aura (MO), 92 with aura (MA), 135 had episodic tension–type headache (ETTH), 44 episodic cluster headache (ECH), 2 chronic paroxysmal hemicrania (CPH) and 25 other primary headaches (OPHs: 12 primary stabbing headaches, 2 primary cough headaches, 3 primary exertional headaches, 2 primary headaches associated with sexual activity, 3 hypnic headaches, 2 primary thunderclap headaches and 1 hemicrania continua). Among them, 43% with MO (205/477), 39% with MA (36/92), and 7% with CH (3/44) reported osmophobia during the attacks; none of the 135 ETTH and 25 OPH patients suffered this symptom. We conclude that osmophobia is a very specific marker to discriminate adequately between migraine (MO and MA) and ETTH; moreover, from this limited series it seems to be a good discriminant also for OPHs, and for CH patients not sharing neurovegetative symptoms with migraine. Therefore, osmophobia should be considered a good candidate as a new criterion for the diagnosis of migraine.
doi:10.1007/s10194-005-0188-8
PMCID: PMC3451998  PMID: 16362667
Osmophobia; Migraine; Primary headaches; International Headache Classification
8.  The Positive Impact of Integrative Medicine in the Treatment of Recalcitrant Chronic daily Headache: A Series of Case Reports 
People who suffer from recalcitrant chronic daily headache (CDH)—a primary, episodic headache occurring at least 15 days per month, and lasting four or more hours per day for at least three consecutive months1—have generally tried many pain relief medications with few positive results. These patients often continue to add more and more medications and travel from clinician to clinician seeking help, without relief. Patients with recalcitrant CDH are often caught in a vicious cycle of increasing pain which results in a substantial impact from their disease on productivity and quality of life. Studies in the United States and Europe indicate that four to five percent of the general population has recalcitrant CDH,2 which encompasses transformed migraine and chronic tension-type headache.3
The disability associated with recalcitrant CDH is substantial, as patients have a significantly diminished quality of life and mental health, as well as impaired physical, social, and occupational functioning.4,5
Research shows that CDH may not be treated effectively with conventional medicine (CM). Integrative medicine (IM) offers a complex, personalized intervention necessary to treat CDH. Many integrative therapies have shown benefit, effectiveness, cost effectiveness and low side effect profile in patients with both chronic headache and chronic pain.6-17 Yet even within the IM community, clinicians often struggle with the balance between providing evidence-based therapy and patient-centered, complex, personalized integrative approaches, which may use popular but unproven therapies.
In this article, we present a series of cases comprising patients with CDH who had previously been recalcitrant to CM approaches. In each case, employing a five-pronged treatment algorithm resulted in the successful IM treatment of CDH. By using this five-pronged approach, clinicians can offer the standardized protocols and scientific rationale they are accustomed to when employing CM options while additionally offering the benefit of IM possibilities.
doi:10.7453/gahmj.2014.002
PMCID: PMC4104559  PMID: 25105078
Chronic pain; chronic daily headache; recalcitrant headache; migraine; tension headache
9.  Cluster headache 
Cluster headache (CH) is a primary headache disease characterized by recurrent short-lasting attacks (15 to 180 minutes) of excruciating unilateral periorbital pain accompanied by ipsilateral autonomic signs (lacrimation, nasal congestion, ptosis, miosis, lid edema, redness of the eye). It affects young adults, predominantly males. Prevalence is estimated at 0.5–1.0/1,000. CH has a circannual and circadian periodicity, attacks being clustered (hence the name) in bouts that can occur during specific months of the year. Alcohol is the only dietary trigger of CH, strong odors (mainly solvents and cigarette smoke) and napping may also trigger CH attacks. During bouts, attacks may happen at precise hours, especially during the night. During the attacks, patients tend to be restless. CH may be episodic or chronic, depending on the presence of remission periods. CH is associated with trigeminovascular activation and neuroendocrine and vegetative disturbances, however, the precise cautive mechanisms remain unknown. Involvement of the hypothalamus (a structure regulating endocrine function and sleep-wake rhythms) has been confirmed, explaining, at least in part, the cyclic aspects of CH. The disease is familial in about 10% of cases. Genetic factors play a role in CH susceptibility, and a causative role has been suggested for the hypocretin receptor gene. Diagnosis is clinical. Differential diagnoses include other primary headache diseases such as migraine, paroxysmal hemicrania and SUNCT syndrome. At present, there is no curative treatment. There are efficient treatments to shorten the painful attacks (acute treatments) and to reduce the number of daily attacks (prophylactic treatments). Acute treatment is based on subcutaneous administration of sumatriptan and high-flow oxygen. Verapamil, lithium, methysergide, prednisone, greater occipital nerve blocks and topiramate may be used for prophylaxis. In refractory cases, deep-brain stimulation of the hypothalamus and greater occipital nerve stimulators have been tried in experimental settings. The disease course over a lifetime is unpredictable. Some patients have only one period of attacks, while in others the disease evolves from episodic to chronic form.
doi:10.1186/1750-1172-3-20
PMCID: PMC2517059  PMID: 18651939
10.  Different forms of trigeminal autonomic cephalalgias in the same patient: description of a case 
The Journal of Headache and Pain  2010;11(3):281-284.
The trigeminal autonomic cephalalgias (TACs), including cluster headache, paroxysmal hemicrania and SUNCT, are characterized by the cardinal combination of short-lasting unilateral pain and autonomic phenomena affecting the head. Hemicrania continua (HC) shares many clinical characteristics with TACs, including unilateral pain and ipsilateral autonomic features. Nevertheless, HC is separately classified in the revised International Classification of Headache Disorders (ICHD-II). Here, we describe the case of a 45-year-old man presenting an unusual concurrence of different forms of primary headaches associated with autonomic signs, including subsequently ipsilateral cluster headache, SUNCT and HC. This report supports the theory that common mechanisms could be involved in pathophysiology of different primary headache syndromes.
doi:10.1007/s10194-010-0210-7
PMCID: PMC3451915  PMID: 20376519
Hemicrania continua; Cluster headache; SUNCT; TACs
11.  P05.06. Treating Chronic Daily Headache Without Giving Yourself One: A Rational Integrative Algorithm of Care 
Focus Areas: Integrative Approaches to Care, Alleviating Pain
Chronic daily headache (CDH) is a descriptive term that encompasses multiple headache diagnoses and effects. It refers to a group of headache disorders characterized by a headache occurring on 15 or more days per month for more than 3 months. CDH affects 4% of the adult population in the United States, with similar figures around the world. The burden of CDH is extremely high, with considerable financial impact as well as impact on quality of life. The diagnosis and integrative management of CDH require a knowledge of distinct CDH subcategories and familiarity with conventional treatment regimens.
Approximately one third of patients seeking integrative care do so because of pain. Overall, 49.5% of US adults with severe headache, 13.5 million adults, reported using at least one complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) therapy within 12 months. However, integrative therapies offered at various centers around the United States do not offer a uniform approach to pain.
Sometimes the disconnect between plausible, scientific explanations and efficacy of treatment has resulted in the dismissal of integrative care. Even within the integrative medicine community, a tension exists between applying ideal-world evidence-based outcomes and real-world patient-centered care. The complex, personalized interventions required in integrative medicine lack the rigor of standardized protocols. Practitioners often struggle with when and how to use integrative approaches that may lack the scientific rationale clinicians are accustomed to when employing conventional medical options.
This presentation will provide a review of a successful five-pronged, integrative medicine treatment approach for CDH. The presenters are the medical directors of Alliance Institute for Integrative Medicine (AIIM), overseeing 20 000 patient visits each year, the majority of which deal with pain.
doi:10.7453/gahmj.2013.097CP.P05.06
PMCID: PMC3875029
12.  Anxiety, depression and school absenteeism in youth with chronic or episodic headache 
Chronic daily headache (CDH) is relatively common among children. Although comorbid conditions have been extensively studied in adults, they have not been assessed in the pediatric CDH population. Accordingly, the authors assessed several conditions known to be associated with CDH in adult patients in children with either CDH or episodic headache. The influence of CDH or episodic headache on the number of school days missed was also assessed.
BACKGROUND:
Chronic daily headache (CDH) in children has been documented in general and clinical populations. Comorbid psychological conditions, risk factors and functional outcomes of CDH in children are not well understood.
OBJECTIVES:
To examine anxiety and depression, associated risk factors and school outcomes in a clinical population of youth with CDH compared with youth with episodic headache (EH).
METHODS:
Data regarding headache characteristics, anxiety, depression and missed school days were collected from 368 consecutive patients eight to 17 years of age, who presented with primary headache at a specialized pediatric headache centre.
RESULTS:
A total of 297 patients (81%) were diagnosed with EH and 71 were diagnosed with CDH. Among those with CDH, 78.9% presented with chronic tension-type headache and 21.1% with chronic migraine (CM). Children with CDH had a higher depression score than the standardized reference population. No difference was observed for anxiety or depression scores between children with CDH and those with EH. However, children with CM were more anxious and more depressed than those with chronic tension-type headache. Youth experiencing migraine with aura were three times as likely to have clinically significant anxiety scores. Headache frequency and history were not associated with psychopathological symptoms. Children with CDH missed school more often and for longer periods of time.
CONCLUSIONS:
These findings document the prevalence of anxiety, depression and school absenteeism in youth with CDH or EH. The present research also extends recent studies examining the impact of aura on psychiatric comorbidity and the debate on CM criteria.
PMCID: PMC4197750  PMID: 24911174
Adolescents; Anxiety; Children; Chronic headache; Depression
13.  Hemicrania continua in African Americans. 
OBJECTIVE: The first six cases of hemicrania continua and episodica in African Americans are reported, differences from previous accounts noted, and important diagnostic features described. BACKGROUND: Hemicrania continua is an indomethacin responsive chronic daily headache. Mild to moderate daily headache is strictly unilateral, constant but fluctuating. Superimposed severe headache attacks occur, last seconds to days, and are associated with ipsilateral orbital-nasal autonomic dysfunction. RESULTS: Severe headache attacks are usually pulsatile, occur one to four times daily, and last 40 minutes to three days. Daily unilateral background headache was typically of a pressure, sharp, dull or pulling quality. Ipsilateral orbital-nasal autonomic symptoms were noted in all. Serious concomitant medical illnesses, e.g. coronary artery disease, diabetes, and hypertension, were frequent in this population. CONCLUSIONS: This is the first report of hemicrania continua and episodica in African Americans and the second in persons of African descent in the world's literature. Late age of onset, frequent serious medical illnesses, and family history of migraine differentiate this series from previous reports. The lack of reports in African Americans most likely reflects misdiagnosis rather than true prevalence. Thus, whenever any patient presents with chronic daily unilateral headache, ipsilateral autonomic symptoms should be assessed during severe headache attacks, and an indomethacin trial considered.
PMCID: PMC2594247  PMID: 12408695
14.  Recurrent and chronic headaches in children below 6 years of age 
The Journal of Headache and Pain  2005;6(3):135-142.
The objective was to determine the frequency of headache subtypes, according to International Headache Society (IHS) criteria, in a population of children below 6 years visiting a Center for Diagnosis and Treatment of Headache in Youth. Medical records of the children below 6 years at their first visit, admitted for headache between 1997 and 2003, were studied. Headache was classified according to the IHS criteria 2004. Children with less than three headache attacks or less than 15 days of daily headache were excluded. We found 1598 medical records of children who visited our Headache Center in the study period. One hundred and five (6.5%) were children younger than 6 years. The mean age at the first medical control was 4.8±1.3 years (range 17–71 months). There were 59 males (56.1%) and 46 females (43.9%). The mean age at onset of headaches was 4.3 years (range 14–69 months). According to the IHS criteria we found 37 cases (35.2%) with migraine, 19 cases (18%) with episodic tension headache, 5 cases (4.8%) with chronic daily headache, 13 cases (12.4%) with primary stabbing headache, 18 cases (17.1%) with post–traumatic headache, 7 cases (6.6%) with other non–dangerous secondary headaches (otorhinolaryngological diseases, post–infectious headaches), 3 cases (2.85%) with dangerous headaches (Arnold–Chiari type 1 malformation, brain tumour) and 9 cases (8.6%) with unclassifiable headaches. Six children (5.7%) reported more than one headache subtype. The prevalence of dangerous headaches was higher than those in school age (χ2=4.70, p<0.05). Our study shows some differences in headaches in this population vs. school children. In fact at this age migraine is the most common headache, but we also found an increase of secondary causes among the chronic/recurrent and daily headaches, especially posttraumatic disorders and potentially dangerous headaches. Finally our study shows the highest prevalence of the idiopathic stabbing headache in pre–school children in comparison with other ages.
doi:10.1007/s10194-005-0168-z
PMCID: PMC3451630  PMID: 16355294
Children; Migraine; Secondary headaches; Stabbing headaches
15.  Paroxysmal hemicrania responding to topiramate 
BMJ Case Reports  2009;2009:bcr06.2009.2007.
Chronic paroxysmal hemicrania (CPH) is a rare primary headache syndrome, which is classified along with cluster headache and short-lasting unilateral neuralgiform headache attacks with conjunctival injection and tearing (SUNCT) as a trigeminal autonomic cephalalgia. CPH is exquisitely responsive to indomethacin, so much so that the response is one of the current diagnostic criteria. The case of a patient with CPH, who had marked epigastric symptoms with indomethacin treatment and responded well to topiramate 150 mg daily, is reported. Cessation of topiramate caused return of episodes, and the response has persisted for 2 years. Topiramate may be a treatment option in CPH.
doi:10.1136/bcr.06.2009.2007
PMCID: PMC3027924  PMID: 21734918
16.  Paroxysmal hemicrania responding to topiramate 
Chronic paroxysmal hemicrania (CPH) is a rare primary headache syndrome, which is classified along with cluster headache and short‐lasting unilateral neuralgiform headache attacks with conjunctival injection and tearing (SUNCT) as a trigeminal autonomic cephalalgia. CPH is exquisitely responsive to indomethacin so much so that the response is one of the current diagnostic criteria. The case of a patient with CPH, who had marked epigastric symptoms with indomethacin treatment and responded well to topiramate 150 mg daily, is reported. Cessation of topiramate caused return of episodes, and the response has persisted for 2 years. Topiramate may be a treatment option in CPH.
doi:10.1136/jnnp.2006.096651
PMCID: PMC2117807  PMID: 17172571
17.  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
18.  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
19.  A case of short–lasting unilateral neuralgiform headache with conjunctival injection and tearing (SUNCT). Discussion of clinical features and differential diagnosis 
The Journal of Headache and Pain  2005;6(6):469-470.
Chronic short–lasting headaches, in which trigeminal autonomic cephalalgias (TACs) are included, are relatively rare syndromes and not always well recognised. We present a case highly suggestive of short–lasting unilateral neuralgiform headache with conjunctival injection and tearing (SUNCT) and we try to affirm essential points to distinguish the diagnosis from other TACs and chronic short–lasting headaches. We conclude that the qualifying points for differential diagnosis are number and duration of attacks in a day, presence of autonomic features and lack of indomethacin effect.
doi:10.1007/s10194-005-0261-3
PMCID: PMC3452302  PMID: 16388343
SUNCT; TACs
20.  Periaqueductal gray matter dysfunction in migraine and chronic daily headache may be due to free radical damage 
The Journal of Headache and Pain  2001;2(Suppl 1):s33-s41.
The periaqueductal gray matter (PAG) is at the center of a powerful descending antinociceptive neuronal network. We studied iron homeostasis in the PAG in episodic migraine patients between attacks and in chronic daily headache patients during headache using highresolution magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) techniques to map the transverse relaxation rates R2, R2* and R2’ in the PAG, red nucleus (RN) and substantia nigra (SN). R2’ is a measure of non–heme iron in tissues. We hypothesized that repeated hyperoxia of brainstem structures observed during migraine may generate free radical damage over time, resulting in iron deposition in vulnerable tissue. Seventeen patients diagnosed with episodic migraine with and without aura (EM), 17 with chronic daily headache (CDH) and medication overuse, and 17 normal adults (N) were imaged with a 3 tesla MRI system. In the PAG, there was a significant increase in mean R2’ and R2* values in both the EM and CDH groups (p<0.05) compared to normal, but no significant difference in these values between the EM and CDH groups, or between migraine with or without aura in the EM group. Positive correlations were found for duration of illness with R2’ in the EM and CDH groups. Duration of the episodic migraine stage in the CDH group did not correlate significantly with R2’, although the total duration of the episodic migraine plus daily headache stages of the CDH group strongly correlated with R2’. No effect of age was noted on R2’. Decrease in mean R2’ and R2* values also was observed in the RN and SN of the CDH compared to N and EM groups (p<0.05), explained best by flow activation due to head pain. Iron homeostasis in the PAG was selectively, persistently and progressively impaired in the EM and CDH groups, possibly caused by free radicals generated during repeated migraine attacks. These results support and emphasize the role of the PAG in migraine, potentially by dysfunctional control of the trigeminovascular nociceptive system. Development of CDH out of EM may be associated with a critical threshold of iron deposition and drug withdrawal excitation of the dysfunctional PAG.
doi:10.1007/s101940170007
PMCID: PMC3451814
21.  Psychiatric comorbidity in pediatric chronic daily headache 
Objectives
The objectives of this study were to assess comorbid psychiatric diagnoses in youth with chronic daily headache (CDH) and to examine relationships between psychiatric status and CDH symptom severity, as well as headache-related disability.
Methods
Standardized psychiatric interviews (Kiddie Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia, KSADS) were conducted with 169 youth ages 10–17 diagnosed with CDH. Participants provided prospective reports of headache frequency with a daily headache diary and completed measures of symptom severity, headache-related disability (PedMIDAS) and quality of life (PedsQL).
Results
Results showed that 29.6% of CDH patients met criteria for at least one current psychiatric diagnosis, and 34.9% met criteria for at least one lifetime psychiatric diagnosis. No significant relationship between psychiatric status and headache frequency, duration, or severity was found. However, children with at least one lifetime psychiatric diagnosis had greater functional disability and poorer quality of life than those without a psychiatric diagnosis.
Discussion
Contrary to research in adults with chronic headaches, most youth with CDH did not appear to be at an elevated risk for comorbid psychiatric diagnosis. However, patients with a comorbid psychiatric diagnosis were found to have higher levels of headache-related disability and poorer quality of life. Implications for treatment are discussed.
doi:10.1177/0333102412460776
PMCID: PMC3692295  PMID: 22990686
Chronic daily headache; pediatric; psychiatric comorbidity; emotional adjustment; headache-related disability; quality of life
22.  Trigeminal Autonomic Cephalalgias: Beyond the Conventional Treatments 
The trigeminal autonomic cephalalgias include cluster headache, paroxysmal hemicrania, short-lasting unilateral neuralgiform headache attacks, and hemicrania continua. While the majority responds to conventional pharmacological treatments, a small but significant proportion of patients are intractable to these treatments. In these cases, alternative choices for these patients include oral and injectable drugs, lesional or resectional surgery, and neurostimulation. The evidence base for conventional treatments is limited, and the evidence for those used beyond convention is more so. At present, the most evidence exists for nerve blocks, deep brain stimulation, occipital nerve stimulation, sphenopalatine ganglion stimulation in chronic cluster headache, and microvascular decompression of the trigeminal nerve in short-lasting unilateral neuralgiform headache attacks.
doi:10.1007/s11916-014-0438-z
PMCID: PMC4119587  PMID: 24974071
Trigeminal autonomic cephalalgias; Neurostimulation; Nerve blocks; Sphenopalatine ganglion stimulation; Occipital nerve stimulation; Deep brain stimulation
23.  Chronic daily headache: old problems, new vistas 
The Journal of Headache and Pain  2000;1(Suppl 1):S5-S10.
In 1988 the problems concerning chronic daily headache (CDH) were neglected by the classification of the International Headache Society (IHS). More than ten years later, this issue is still debated, also in light of the foreseen revised classification. Several terms have been used to define the clinical picture of CDH, and different criteria have been proposed for the diagnosis of these forms. In most cases, CDH appears to evolve from an episodic migraine, but the temporal limits between an episodic and a no-longer episodic form of migraine are questionable. A decreased threshold for headache recurrence in CDH is currently hypothesized, and it may be due to either an impaired control system or a sensitization of the trigeminal neurons, occurring regardless of the original nature of headache. The identification of genetic alterations and neurobiological changes underlying the different forms of CDH may greatly facilitate any nosographic and therapeutical approach to this broad spectrum of disorders.
doi:10.1007/s101940070018
PMCID: PMC3611796
Key words Chronic daily headache; Tension-type headache; Migraine; Drug abuse; Nosography
24.  Temporomandibular disorders in headache patients 
Objective: To identify the frequency of signs and symptoms of temporomandibular disorder (TMD) and its seve-rity in individuals with headache. Study Design: 60 adults divided into three groups of 20 individuals: chronic daily headache (CDH), episodic headache (EH) and a control group without headache (WH). Headache diagnosis was performed according to the criteria of International Headache Society and the signs and symptoms of TMD were achieved by using a clinical exam and an anamnestic questionnaire. The severity of TMD was defined by the temporomandibular index (TMI). Results: The TMD signs and symptoms were always more frequent in individuals with headache, especially report of pain in TMJ area (CDH, n=16; EH, n=12; WH, n=6), pain to palpation on masseter (CDH, n=19; EH, n=16; WH, n=11) which are significantly more frequent in episodic and chronic daily headache. The mean values of temporomandibular and articular index (CDH patients) and muscular index (CDH and EH patients) were statistically higher than in patients of the control group, notably the articular (CDH=0.38; EH=0.25;WH=0.19) and muscular (CDH=0.46; EH=0.51; WH=0.26) indices. Conclusions: These findings allow us to speculate that masticatory and TMJ pain are more common in headache subjects. Besides, it seems that the TMD is more severe in headache patients.
Key words:Temporomandibular dysfunction, headache disorders.
doi:10.4317/medoral.18007
PMCID: PMC3505700  PMID: 22926473
25.  The patients’ perceptions of migraine and chronic daily headache: a qualitative study 
This study aimed to gain insight into the management of migraine and chronic daily headache (CDH) from the patients’ perspective. This article outlines the patients’ perceptions of migraine and chronic daily headache. Thirteen semi–structured interviews were carried out with patients suffering from IHS migraine. Five patients, due to their headache frequency of more than 15 headache days per month, were classed as CDH patients. The data were transcribed verbatim and analysed in accordance with the grounded theory methodology. The main themes were: headaches, impact and headaches related to health issues. The theme ‘headaches’ was sub-divided into ‘their pain and symptoms’, ‘differentiating between their headaches’ and ‘perceptions of headaches as barriers and facilitators to management’. The patients’ perceptions of migraine and CDH were sometimes conflicting and influenced the patients’ management behaviours. The qualitative methodology may help to inform doctors, other healthcare professionals and headache researchers about the patients’ perspective and possibly develop future headache research, care and education.
doi:10.1007/s10194-005-0144-7
PMCID: PMC3451956  PMID: 16362190
Migraine; Chronic daily headache; Patient; Perceptions

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