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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.  Health-care utilization for primary headache disorders in China: a population-based door-to-door survey 
Background
In order to know the status quo of health care for primary headache disorders in China, questions about headache consultation and diagnosis were included in a nationwide population-based survey initiated by Lifting The Burden: the Global Campaign against Headache.
Methods
Throughout China, 5,041 unrelated respondents aged 18–65 years were randomly sampled from the general population and visited unannounced at their homes. After basic sociodemographic and headache diagnostic questions, respondents with headache answered further questions about health-care utilization in the previous year.
Results
Significantly higher proportions of respondents with migraine (239/452; 52.9%) or headache on ≥15 days per month (23/48; 47.9%) had consulted a physician for headache than of those with tension-type headache (TTH) (218/531; 41.1%; P < 0.05). Multivariate analysis showed associations between disability and probability of consultation in those with migraine (mild vs. minimal: AOR 3.4, 95% CI: 1.6–7.4; moderate vs. minimal: 2.5, 1.2–5.4; severe vs. minimal: 3.9, 1.9–8.1) and between rural habitation and probability of consulting in those with TTH (AOR: 3.5; 95% CI: 1.9–6.3, P < 0.001). Married respondents with TTH were less likely than unmarried to have consulted (AOR: 0.26; 95% CI: 0.07–0.93; P = 0.038). About half of consultations (47.8–56.5%) for each of the headache disorders were at clinic level in the health system. Consultations in level-3 hospitals were relatively few for migraine (5.9%) but more likely for headache on ≥15 days/month (8.7%) and, surprisingly, for TTH (13.3%). Under-diagnosis and misdiagnosis were common in consulters. More than half with migraine (52.7%) or headache on ≥15 days/month (51.2%), and almost two thirds (63.7%) with TTH, reported no previous diagnosis. Consulters with migraine were as likely (13.8%) to have been diagnosed with “nervous headache” as with migraine. “Nervous headache” (9.8%) and “vascular headache” (7.6%) were the most likely diagnoses in those with TTH, of whom only 5.6% had previously been correctly diagnosed. These were also the most likely diagnoses (14.0% each) in consulters with headache on ≥15 days/month.
Conclusions
This picture of the status quo shows limited reach of headache services in China, and high rates of under-diagnosis and misdiagnosis in those who achieve access to them. This is not a picture of an efficient or cost-effective response to major causes of public ill-health and disability.
doi:10.1186/1129-2377-14-47
PMCID: PMC3673891  PMID: 23731663
China; Headache disorders; Migraine; Tension-type headache; Health-care utilization; Global campaign against headache
3.  Impact of headache on sickness absence and utilisation of medical services: a Danish population study. 
STUDY OBJECTIVE--The aim was to study the extent and type of health service utilisation, medication habits, and sickness absence due to the primary headaches. DESIGN--This was a cross sectional epidemiological survey of headache disorders in a general population. Headache was diagnosed according to a structured interview and a neurological examination using the criteria of the International Headache Society. SETTING--A random sample of 25-64 year-old individuals was drawn from the Danish National Central Person Registry. All subjects were living in the Copenhagen County. PARTICIPANTS--740 subjects participated (76% of the sample); 119 had migraine and 578 had tension type headache. MAIN RESULTS--Among subjects with migraine 56% had, at some time, consulted their general practitioner because of the migraine. The corresponding percentage among subjects with tension type headache was 16. One or more specialists had been consulted by 16% of migraine sufferers and by 4% of subjects with tension type headache. The consultation rates of chiropractors and physiotherapists were 5-8%. Hospital admissions and supplementary laboratory investigations due to headache were rare (< 3%). Half of the migraine sufferers and 83% of subjects with tension type headache in the previous year had managed with at least one type of drug in the current year. Acetylsalicylic acid preparations and paracetamol were the most commonly used analgesics. Prophylaxis of migraine was used by 7%. In the preceding year 43% of employed migraine sufferers and 12% of employed subjects with tension type headache had missed one or more days of work because of headache. Most common was 1-7 days off work. The total loss of workdays per year due to migraine in the general population was estimated at 270 days per 1000 persons. For tension type headache the corresponding figure was 820. Women were more likely to consult a practitioner than men, whereas no significant sex difference emerged as regards absenteeism from work. CONCLUSIONS--The impact of the headache disorders on work performance in the general population is substantial, and the disorders merit increased attention.
PMCID: PMC1059617  PMID: 1431724
4.  Prevalence of headache in an elderly population: attack frequency, disability, and use of medication 
OBJECTIVES—To assess the 1 year prevalence of tension-type headache (TTH), migraine headache (MH), and chronic daily headache (CDH), as well as of headache in general in a rural elderly population.
METHODS—A door to door two phase survey was carried out on all elderly (⩾65 years) residents in three villages in central Italy. Participants completed a standardised headache questionnaire and underwent a clinical evaluation by a neurologist. Headache diagnosis was made according to the classification of the International Headache Society, with minor modifications for the classification of patients with MH with⩾15 attacks/month.
RESULTS—Eight hundred and thirty three (72.6%) of the 1147 eligible persons completed the study protocol. One year prevalence rates were respectively 44.5% for TTH, 11.0% for MH, 2.2% for symptomatic headaches, and 0.7% for the remaining types of headache. The prevalence of headache in general was 51.0% because 62 residents had both TTH and MH attacks. Prevalence rates of patients with headache were higher in women than men (62.1% and 36.6% respectively) and decreased steadily with age for the 65-74, 75-84, and 85-96 age groups (56.7%, 45.2% and 26.1% respectively). Prevalence rates were 20.4% for patients with moderate to severe attacks, 18.0% for those with ⩾1 attacks a month, and 4.4% for those with CDH. Of the 425 with headache 52 (12.2%) had not taken any drugs for their attacks in the previous year, 195 (45.9%) had taken them regularly, and 178 (41.9%) had taken them only when the headache pain interfered with activities that could not be postponed. Medication overuse was reported by 37.8% of patients with CDH with higher proportions for transformed migraine than for patients with chronic TTH (69.2% and 23.8% respectively, p=0.009)
CONCLUSIONS—A consistent proportion of elderly people have primary headaches and consultation with a specialist is particularly recommended for patients with moderate or severe attacks, or with CDH.


doi:10.1136/jnnp.70.3.377
PMCID: PMC1737286  PMID: 11181862
5.  One-year prevalence and the impact of migraine and tension-type headache in Turkey: a nationwide home-based study in adults 
The Journal of Headache and Pain  2012;13(2):147-157.
Several studies have shown that the prevalence of migraine and tension-type headache (TTH) varied between different geographical regions. Therefore, there is a need of a nationwide prevalence study for headache in our country, located between Asia and Europe. This nationwide study was designed to estimate the 1-year prevalence of migraine and TTH and analyse the clinical features, the impact as well as the demographic and socio-economic characteristics of the participant households in Turkey. We planned to investigate 6,000 representative households in 21 cities of Turkey; and a total of 5,323 households (response rate of 89%) aged between 18 and 65 years were examined for headache by 33 trained physicians at home on the basis of the diagnostic criteria of the second edition of the International Classification of Headache Disorders (ICHD-II). The electronically registered questionnaire was based on the headache features, the associated symptoms, demographic and socio-economic situation and history. Of 5,323 participants (48.8% women; mean age 35.9 ± 12 years) 44.6% reported recurrent headaches during the last 1 year and 871 were diagnosed with migraine at a prevalence rate of 16.4% (8.5% in men and 24.6% in women), whereas only 270 were diagnosed with TTH at a prevalence rate of 5.1% (5.7% in men and 4.5% in women). The 1-year prevalence of probable migraine was 12.4% and probable TTH was 9.5% additionally. The rate of migraine with aura among migraineurs was 21.5%. The prevalence of migraine was highest among 35–40-year-old women while there were no differences in age groups among men and in TTH overall. More than 2/3 of migraineurs had ever consulted a physician whereas only 1/3 of patients with TTH had ever consulted a physician. For women, the migraine prevalence was higher among the ones with a lower income, while among men, it did not show any change by income. Migraine prevalence was lower in those with a lower educational status compared to those with a high educational status. Chronic daily headache was present in 3.3% and the prevalence of medication overuse headache was 2.1% in our population. There was an important impact of migraine with a monthly frequency of 5.9 ± 6, and an attack duration of 35.1 ± 72 h, but only 4.9% were on prophylactic treatment. The one-year prevalence of migraine estimated as 16.4% was similar or even higher than world-wide reported migraine prevalence figures and identical to a previous nation-wide study conducted in 1998, whereas the TTH prevalence was much lower using the same methodology with the ICHD-II criteria.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10194-011-0414-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1007/s10194-011-0414-5
PMCID: PMC3274583  PMID: 22246025
Prevalence of migraine; Prevalence of tension-type headache; Migraine; Tension-type headache; Headache
6.  One-year prevalence and the impact of migraine and tension-type headache in Turkey: a nationwide home-based study in adults 
The Journal of Headache and Pain  2012;13(2):147-157.
Several studies have shown that the prevalence of migraine and tension-type headache (TTH) varied between different geographical regions. Therefore, there is a need of a nationwide prevalence study for headache in our country, located between Asia and Europe. This nationwide study was designed to estimate the 1-year prevalence of migraine and TTH and analyse the clinical features, the impact as well as the demographic and socio-economic characteristics of the participant households in Turkey. We planned to investigate 6,000 representative households in 21 cities of Turkey; and a total of 5,323 households (response rate of 89%) aged between 18 and 65 years were examined for headache by 33 trained physicians at home on the basis of the diagnostic criteria of the second edition of the International Classification of Headache Disorders (ICHD-II). The electronically registered questionnaire was based on the headache features, the associated symptoms, demographic and socio-economic situation and history. Of 5,323 participants (48.8% women; mean age 35.9 ± 12 years) 44.6% reported recurrent headaches during the last 1 year and 871 were diagnosed with migraine at a prevalence rate of 16.4% (8.5% in men and 24.6% in women), whereas only 270 were diagnosed with TTH at a prevalence rate of 5.1% (5.7% in men and 4.5% in women). The 1-year prevalence of probable migraine was 12.4% and probable TTH was 9.5% additionally. The rate of migraine with aura among migraineurs was 21.5%. The prevalence of migraine was highest among 35–40-year-old women while there were no differences in age groups among men and in TTH overall. More than 2/3 of migraineurs had ever consulted a physician whereas only 1/3 of patients with TTH had ever consulted a physician. For women, the migraine prevalence was higher among the ones with a lower income, while among men, it did not show any change by income. Migraine prevalence was lower in those with a lower educational status compared to those with a high educational status. Chronic daily headache was present in 3.3% and the prevalence of medication overuse headache was 2.1% in our population. There was an important impact of migraine with a monthly frequency of 5.9 ± 6, and an attack duration of 35.1 ± 72 h, but only 4.9% were on prophylactic treatment. The one-year prevalence of migraine estimated as 16.4% was similar or even higher than world-wide reported migraine prevalence figures and identical to a previous nation-wide study conducted in 1998, whereas the TTH prevalence was much lower using the same methodology with the ICHD-II criteria.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1007/s10194-011-0414-5) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1007/s10194-011-0414-5
PMCID: PMC3274583  PMID: 22246025
Prevalence of migraine; Prevalence of tension-type headache; Migraine; Tension-type headache; Headache
7.  The burden of headache disorders in India: methodology and questionnaire validation for a community-based survey in Karnataka State 
The Journal of Headache and Pain  2012;13(7):543-550.
Primary headache disorders are a major public-health problem globally and, possibly more so, in low- and middle-income countries. No methodologically sound studies of prevalence and burden of headache in the adult Indian population have been published previously. The present study was a door-to-door cold-calling survey in urban and rural areas in and around Bangalore, Karnataka State. From 2,714 households contacted, 2,514 biologically unrelated individuals were eligible for the survey and 2,329 (92.9 %) participated (1,103 [48 %] rural; 1,226 [52 %] urban; 1,141 [49 %] male; 1,188 [51 %] female; mean age 38.0 years). The focus was on primary headache (migraine and tension-type headache [TTH]) and medication-overuse headache. A structured questionnaire administered by trained lay interviewers was the instrument both for diagnosis (algorithmically determined from responses) and burden estimation. The screening question enquired into headache in the last year. The validation study compared questionnaire-based diagnoses with those obtained soon after through personal interview by a neurologist in a random sub-sample of participants (n = 381; 16 %). It showed high values (>80 %) for sensitivity, specificity and predictive values for any headache, and for specificity and negative predictive value for migraine and TTH. Kappa values for diagnostic agreement were good for any headache (0.69 [95 % CI 0.61–0.76]), moderate (0.46 [0.35–0.56]) for migraine and fair (0.39 [0.29–0.49]) for TTH.The survey methodology, including identification of and access to participants, proved feasible. The questionnaire proved effective in the survey population. The study will give reliable estimates of the prevalence and burden of headache, and of migraine and TTH specifically, in urban and rural Karnataka.
doi:10.1007/s10194-012-0474-1
PMCID: PMC3444540  PMID: 22911168
Primary headache disorders; Migraine; Tension-type headache; Epidemiology; Burden of disease; Methodology; Survey; Validation; Global Campaign against Headache; India
8.  Primary headaches, attention deficit disorder and learning disabilities in children and adolescents 
Background
Primary headaches and Learning difficulties are both common in the pediatric population. The goal of our study was to assess the prevalence of learning disabilities and attention deficit disorder in children and adolescents with migraine and tension type headaches.
Methods
Retrospective review of medical records of children and adolescents who presented with headache to the outpatient pediatric neurology clinics of Bnai-Zion Medical Center and Meyer Children’s Hospital, Haifa, during the years 2009–2010. Demographics, Headache type, attention deficit disorder (ADHD), learning disabilities and academic achievements were assessed.
Results
243 patients met the inclusion criteria and were assessed: 135 (55.6%) females and 108 (44.4%) males. 44% were diagnosed with migraine (35.8% of the males, 64.2% of the females, p = 0.04), 47.7% were diagnosed with tension type headache (50.4% of the males, 49.6% of the females). Among patients presenting with headache for the first time, 24% were formerly diagnosed with learning disabilities and 28% were diagnosed with attention deficit disorder (ADHD). ADHD was more prevalent among patients with tension type headache when compared with patients with migraine (36.5% vs. 19.8%, p = 0.006). Poor to average school academic performance was more prevalent among children with tension type headache, whereas good to excellent academic performance was more prevalent among those with migraine.
Conclusions
Learning disabilities and ADHD are more common in children and adolescents who are referred for neurological assessment due to primary headaches than is described in the general pediatric population. There is an association between headache diagnosis and school achievements.
doi:10.1186/1129-2377-14-54
PMCID: PMC3698063  PMID: 23806023
Migraine; Tension type headache; Attention deficit disorder; Learning disabilities
9.  Course of adolescent headache: 4-year annual face-to-face follow-up study 
The Journal of Headache and Pain  2010;11(4):327-334.
The objective of this study is to investigate the course of the diagnosis and characteristics of headache in 12- to 17-year-old adolescents during a follow-up period of 4 years. Headache prevalence and characteristics, and even the type of headache show important changes during adolescence. The course of adolescent headache might reveal important insight into the pathophysiology of headache. Subjects who received a single headache diagnosis were invited to participate in a follow-up study consisting of annual face-to-face evaluation of the subjects for 4 years. Subjects who had only one type of headache and who agreed to participate were included in the study. Each subject had four annual semi-structured interviews with a neurology resident. The International Classification of Headache Disorders second edition was used for case definitions. A total of 87 subjects completed the study: 64 girls (73.56%) and 23 boys (26.44%) (p = 0.016). The headache type included migraine in 50 adolescents (57.47%), tension type headache in 24 (27.59%), secondary headache in 5 (5.7%), and non-classifiable headache in 8 (9.2%). Headache has not remitted in any of the subjects. Headache diagnosis has changed in eighteen (20.69%) subjects at least once during the follow-up period. There was transformation of headache type in 4 of 50 with migraine (8%), 10 of 24 with tension-type headache (TTH) (41.7%), and 4 of 13 with other headaches (30.8%). In conclusion, transition of headache types from one type to another (more than once in some adolescents) and variability of diagnosis throughout the years strongly support the continuum theory of headaches.
doi:10.1007/s10194-010-0228-x
PMCID: PMC3476353  PMID: 20526648
Adolescent; Headache; Migraine; Tension-type headache; Course; Transformation
10.  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
11.  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
12.  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
13.  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
14.  A computerized expert system for diagnosing primary headache based on International Classification of Headache Disorder (ICHD-II) 
SpringerPlus  2013;2:199.
Background
The authors developed a computerized program designed to diagnose primary headache based on international classification of headache disorders, 2nd edition (ICHD-II) criteria for use by physicians.
Methods
An appropriate questionnaire was designed according to the ICHD-II criteria for all types of primary headaches and the computerized system provided diagnosis based on the criteria. The software was tested by analyzing 80 patients, recruited from an outpatient headache clinic, affected by primary headache. Each patient with a unique card number was interviewed up to 15 minutes. At the end of each day, software and neurologist diagnoses were evaluated for each patient.
Results
Of 80 patients, the software was able to come up with correct results in 78 cases. The age of the patients ranged from 30 to 80 years old. Migraine headache accounted for 71 cases, five patients had tension type headache, and 2 had cluster headaches; all were correctly diagnosed by software. Two cases were not concordant with the neurologist’s diagnosis. The neurologist diagnosed these two cases as “Medical overuse syndrome headache” and “cluster headache”, which our software was not able to diagnosis them.
Conclusions
This software permitted the diagnosis of more than 97% of the patients similar to the physician's. We hope this questionnaire and applying the software to diagnose headache based on ICHD could be of help to better the diagnosis of headaches.
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/2193-1801-2-199) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
doi:10.1186/2193-1801-2-199
PMCID: PMC3661080  PMID: 23710428
Headache diagnosis; Software; International classification of headache disorder (ICHD-II)
15.  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
16.  How do patients referred to neurologists for headache differ from those managed in primary care? 
Background
Headache is the neurological symptom most frequently presented to GPs and referred to neurologists, but little is known about how referred patients differ from patients managed by GPs.
Aim
To describe and compare headache patients managed in primary care with those referred to neurologists.
Design of study
Prospective study.
Setting
Eighteen general practices in south-east England.
Method
This study examined 488 eligible patients consulting GPs with primary headache over 7 weeks and 81 patients referred to neurologists over 1 year. Headache disability was measured by the Migraine Disability Assessment Score, headache impact by the Headache Impact Test, emotional distress by the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale and illness perception was assessed using the Illness Perception Questionnaire.
Results
Participants were 303 patients who agreed to participate. Both groups reported severe disability and very severe impact on functioning. Referred patients consulted more frequently than those not referred in the 3 months before referral (P = 0.003). There was no significant difference between GP-managed and referred groups in mean headache disability, impact, anxiety, depression, or satisfaction with care. The referred group were more likely to link an increased number of symptoms to their headaches (P = 0.01), to have stronger emotional representations of their headaches (P = 0.006), to worry more (P = 0.001), and were made anxious by their headache symptoms (P = 0.044).
Conclusion
Patients who consult for headache experience severe disability and impact, and up to a third report anxiety and/or depression. Referral is not related to clinical severity of headaches, but is associated with higher consultation frequency and patients' anxiety and concern about their headache symptoms.
PMCID: PMC2047014  PMID: 17504590
headache; migraine disorders; neurology; primary health care; referral and consultation
17.  Anatomical Alterations of the Visual Motion Processing Network in Migraine with and without Aura 
PLoS Medicine  2006;3(10):e402.
Background
Patients suffering from migraine with aura (MWA) and migraine without aura (MWoA) show abnormalities in visual motion perception during and between attacks. Whether this represents the consequences of structural changes in motion-processing networks in migraineurs is unknown. Moreover, the diagnosis of migraine relies on patient's history, and finding differences in the brain of migraineurs might help to contribute to basic research aimed at better understanding the pathophysiology of migraine.
Methods and Findings
To investigate a common potential anatomical basis for these disturbances, we used high-resolution cortical thickness measurement and diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) to examine the motion-processing network in 24 migraine patients (12 with MWA and 12 MWoA) and 15 age-matched healthy controls (HCs). We found increased cortical thickness of motion-processing visual areas MT+ and V3A in migraineurs compared to HCs. Cortical thickness increases were accompanied by abnormalities of the subjacent white matter. In addition, DTI revealed that migraineurs have alterations in superior colliculus and the lateral geniculate nucleus, which are also involved in visual processing.
Conclusions
A structural abnormality in the network of motion-processing areas could account for, or be the result of, the cortical hyperexcitability observed in migraineurs. The finding in patients with both MWA and MWoA of thickness abnormalities in area V3A, previously described as a source in spreading changes involved in visual aura, raises the question as to whether a “silent” cortical spreading depression develops as well in MWoA. In addition, these experimental data may provide clinicians and researchers with a noninvasively acquirable migraine biomarker.
A structural abnormality in the network of motion-processing areas could account for, or be the result of, the cortical hyperexcitability seen in people who have migraine.
Editors' Summary
Background.
Migraine is a disabling brain disorder that affects more than one in ten people during their lifetimes. It is characterized by severe, recurrent headaches, often accompanied by nausea, vomiting, and light sensitivity. In some migraineurs (people who have migraines), the headaches are preceded by neurological disturbances known as “aura.” These usually affect vision, causing illusions of flashing lights, zig-zag lines, or blind spots. There are many triggers for migraine attacks—including some foods, stress, and bright lights—and every migraineur has to learn what triggers his or her attacks. There is no cure for migraine, although over-the-counter painkillers can ease the symptoms and doctors can prescribe stronger remedies or drugs to reduce the frequency of attacks. Exactly what causes migraine is unclear but scientists think that, for some reason, the brains of migraineurs are hyperexcitable. That is, some nerve cells in their brains overreact when they receive electrical messages from the body. This triggers a local disturbance of brain function called “cortical spreading depression,” which, in turn, causes aura, headache, and the other symptoms of migraine.
Why Was This Study Done?
Researchers need to know more about what causes migraine to find better treatments. One clue comes from the observation that motion perception is abnormal in migraineurs, even between attacks—they can be very sensitive to visually induced motion sickness, for example. Another clue is that aura are usually visual. So could brain regions that process visual information be abnormal in people who have migraines? In this study, the researchers investigated the structure of the motion processing parts of the brain in people who have migraine with aura, in people who have migraine without aura, and in unaffected individuals to see whether there were any differences that might help them understand migraine.
What Did the Researchers Do and Find?
The researchers used two forms of magnetic resonance imaging—a noninvasive way to produce pictures of internal organs—to examine the brains of migraineurs (when they weren't having a migraine) and healthy controls. They concentrated on two brain regions involved in motion processing known as the MT+ and V3A areas and first measured the cortical thickness of these areas—the cortex is the wrinkled layer of gray matter on the outside of the brain that processes information sent from the body. They found that the cortical thickness was increased in both of these areas in migraineurs when compared to healthy controls. There was no difference in cortical thickness between migraineurs who had aura and those who did not, but the area of cortical thickening in V3A corresponded to the source of cortical spreading depression previously identified in a person who had migraine with aura. The researchers also found differences between the white matter (the part of the brain that transfers information between different regions of the gray matter) immediately below the V3A and MT+ areas in the migraineurs and the controls but again not between the two groups of migraineurs.
What Do These Findings Mean?
This study provides new information about migraine. First, it identifies structural changes in the brains of people who have migraines. Until now, it has been thought that abnormal brain function causes migraine but that migraineurs have a normal brain structure. The observed structural differences might either account for or be caused by the hyperexcitability that triggers migraines. Because migraine runs in families, examining the brains of children of migraineurs as they grow up might indicate which of these options is correct, although it is possible that abnormalities in brain areas not examined here actually trigger migraines. Second, the study addresses a controversial question about migraine: Is migraine with aura the same as migraine without aura? The similar brain changes in both types of migraine suggest that they are one disorder. Third, the abnormalities in areas MT+ and V3A could help to explain why migraineurs have problems with visual processing even in between attacks. Finally, this study suggests that it might be possible to develop a noninvasive test to help doctors diagnose migraine.
Additional Information.
Please access these Web sites via the online version of this summary at http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pmed.0030402.
The MedlinePlus encyclopedia has several pages on migraine
The US National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke offers patient information on migraine and other headaches
The NHS Direct Online contains patient information on migraine from the UK National Health Service
MAGNUM provides information from The US National Migraine Association
The Migraine Trust is a UK charity that supports research and provides support for patients
The Migraine Aura Foundation is a site about aura that includes a section on art and aura
doi:10.1371/journal.pmed.0030402
PMCID: PMC1609120  PMID: 17048979
18.  Primary Headache Disorders at a Tertiary Health Facility in Lagos, Nigeria: Prevalence and Consultation Patterns 
BioMed Research International  2014;2014:782915.
Background. Primary headaches are underdiagnosed and undertreated, with a significant impact on social activities and work. Aim. To determine the last-year prevalence and health care utilization pattern of primary headaches at a tertiary centre. Methods. A cross-sectional study was carried out amongst staff of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital in Lagos, Nigeria. 402 staff members were selected by simple random sampling and administered a detailed structured headache assessment questionnaire. Migraine and tension-type headache were diagnosed according to the criteria of the International Headache Society (2004). Results. The participants comprised 168 males and 234 females. The mean age was 36.9 ± 7.9 years. The overall headache prevalence was 39.3% with female predominance (P < 0.0001). Tension-type headache was the most prevalent at 72.8% and migraine at 18.9%. Unclassifiable headache constituted 8.2%. Migraine headache showed female preponderance (P = 0.000). 80.4% of participants did not seek medical consultation compared with 19.6% who did (P = 0.000). Of the latter, 83.9% consulted the general practitioner (GP), whilst 16.1% consulted the neurologist. Conclusions. Primary headache prevalence is high in our population. It is not recognised as that requiring care by most of the staff of this tertiary health facility; thus education is required to increase health care utilization.
doi:10.1155/2014/782915
PMCID: PMC3920920  PMID: 24587991
19.  Application of ICHD-II Criteria in a Headache Clinic of China 
PLoS ONE  2012;7(12):e50898.
Background
China has the huge map and the largest population in the world. Previous studies on the prevalence and classification of headaches were conducted based on the general population, however, similar studies among the Chinese outpatient population are scarce. This study aimed to analyze the characteristics of 1843 headache patients enrolled in a North China headache clinic of the General Hospital for Chinese People's Liberation Army from October 2011 to May 2012, with the International Classification of Headache Disorders, 2nd Edition (ICHD-II).
Methods and Results
Personal interviews were carried out and a detailed questionnaire was used to collect medical records including age, sex and headache characteristics. Patients came from 28 regions of China with the median age of 40.9 (9–80) years and the female/male ratio of 1.67/1. The primary headaches (78.4%) were classified as the following: migraine (39.1%), tension-type headache (32.5%), trigeminal autonomic cephalalgias (5.3%) and other primary headache (1.5%). Among the rest patients, 12.9% were secondary headaches, 5.9% were cranial neuralgias and 2.5% were unspecified or not elsewhere classified. Fourteen point nine percent (275/1843) were given an additional diagnosis of chronic daily headache, including medication-overuse headache (MOH, 49.5%), chronic tension-type headache (CTTH, 32.7%) and chronic migraine (CM, 13.5%). The visual analogue scale (VAS) score of TTH with MOH was significantly higher than that of CTTH (6.8±2.0 vs 5.6±2.0, P<0.001). The similar result was also observed in VAS score between migraine with MOH and CM (8.0±1.5 vs 7.0±1.5, P = 0.004). The peak age at onset of TTH for male and female were both in the 3rd decade of life. However, the age distribution at onset of migraine shows an obvious sex difference, i.e. the 2nd decade for females and the 1st decade for males.
Conclusions/Significance
This study revealed the characteristics of the headache clinic outpatients in a tertiary hospital of North China that migraine is the most common diagnosis. Furthermore, most headaches in this patient population can be classified using ICHD-II criteria.
doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0050898
PMCID: PMC3519829  PMID: 23239993
20.  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
21.  High diagnostic stability of confirmed migraine and confirmed tension-type headache according to the ICHD-3 beta in adolescents 
Background
Stable headache diagnosis classification is a prerequisite for identification of headache type specific risk factors. Does the stability of a headache diagnosis over time vary between migraine and tension-type headache (TTH)? Are there differences in diagnosis stability between a probable and a definite headache diagnosis?
Findings
In a sample of 783 students (ages 12 to 18 years) participating in a headache intervention study in greater Munich, the stability of headache classification according to the International Classification of Headache Disorder - third edition (beta version) (ICHD-3 beta) after a follow-up of 7 months was examined. Differences in stability of probable or definite migraine and probable or definite TTH were assessed. The stability of the headache diagnosis was assessed as predictive value of headache diagnosis with regard to confirmation of the headache type using the same diagnostic instrument 7 months later. Predictive values with 95% confidence intervals (CI) are reported.
Of students with initial migraine, a diagnosis of migraine was confirmed in 65.71% of students after 7 months (95%-CI [59.40-71.64]). A clear distinction between probable (44.71%, 95%-CI [33.91-53.89]) and confirmed diagnosis (76.88% 95%-CI [69.56-83.17]) of migraine was observed. For TTH the predictive value was 62.66% (95%-CI [57.07-68.01]) overall with a lower stability for probable (46.10%, 95%-CI [37.68-54.69]) compared to the confirmed diagnosis (69.71%, 95%-CI [23.58-37.67]).
Conclusion
While confirmed migraine and confirmed TTH diagnoses seem stable over time, stability of a probable diagnosis for either headache type was lower.
Trial registration
The trial was registered at the German Clinical Trial Register with the ID DRKS00003308.
doi:10.1186/1129-2377-15-36
PMCID: PMC4075938  PMID: 24916858
Headache; Migraine; Tension-type headache; Adolescents; Stability; Tracking; Headache type; Probable diagnosis; Confirmed diagnosis
22.  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
23.  GREATER FREQUENCY OF DEPRESSION ASSOCIATED WITH CHRONIC PRIMARY HEADACHES THAN CHRONIC POST-TRAUMATIC HEADACHES 
Objective
To compare the prevalence of co-morbid depression between patients with chronic primary headache syndromes and chronic post-traumatic headaches.
Method
A prospective cross-sectional analysis of all patients presenting sequentially to a community-based general neurology clinic during a 2-year period for evaluation of chronic headache pain was conducted. Headache diagnosis was determined according to the International Headache Society’s Headache Classification criteria. Depression was determined through a combination of scores on the clinician administered Hamilton Rating Scale for Depression and patients’ self-report. An additional group of patients who suffered traumatic brain injuries (TBI) but did not develop post-traumatic headaches was included for comparison.
Results
A total of 83 patients were included in the study: 45 with chronic primary headaches (24 with chronic migraine headaches, 21 with chronic tension headaches), 24 with chronic post-traumatic headaches, and 14 with TBI but no headaches. Depression occurred less frequently among those with chronic post-traumatic headaches (33.3%) compared to those with chronic migraine (66.7%) and chronic tension (52.4%) headaches (Chi-Square = 7.68; df = 3; p = 0.053), and did not significantly differ from TBI patients without headaches. A multivariate logistic regression model using depression as the outcome variable and including headache diagnosis, gender, ethnicity, and alcohol and illicit substance use was statistically significant (Chi-Square = 27.201; df = 10; p < 0.01) and identified primary headache (migraine and tension) diagnoses (Score = 7.349; df = 1; p = 0.04) and female gender (Score = 15.281; df = 1; p < 0.01) as significant predictor variables. The overall model accurately predicted presence of co-morbid depression in 74.7% of the cases.
Conclusions
Co-morbid depression occurs less frequently among patients with chronic post-traumatic headaches and TBI without headaches than among those with chronic primary headaches.
PMCID: PMC4326262  PMID: 24066406
chronic pain; depression; headache
24.  Diagnostic and therapeutic errors in cluster headache: a hospital-based study 
Background
Cluster headache (CH) is a severe, disabling form of headache. Even though CH has a typical clinical picture it seems that its diagnosis is often missed or delayed in clinical practice. CH patients may thus face: misdiagnosis, unnecessary investigations and delays in accessing adequate treatment. This study was conducted to investigate the occurrence of diagnostic and therapeutic errors with a view to improving the clinical and instrumental work-up in affected patients.
Methods
Our study comprised 144 episodic CH patients: 116 from Italy and 28 from Eastern European countries (Moldova, Ukraine, Bulgaria). One hundred six patients (73.6%) were examined personally and 38 (26.4%) were evaluated through telephone interviews conducted by headache specialists using an ad hoc questionnaire developed by the authors.
Results
The sample was predominantly male (M:F ratio 2.79:1) and had a mean age of 42.4 ± 9.8 years; approximately 76% of the patients had already consulted a physician about their CH at the onset of the disease. The mean interval between onset of the disease and first consultation at a headache center was 4.1 ± 5.6 years. The patients had consulted different specialists prior to receiving their CH diagnosis: neurologists (49%), primary care physicians (35%), ENT specialists (10%), dentists (3%), etc. Misdiagnoses at first consultation were recorded in 77% of the cases: trigeminal neuralgia (22%), migraine without aura (19%), sinusitis (15%), etc. The average “diagnostic delay” was 5.3 ± 6.4 years and the condition was diagnosed approximately (“doctor delay”: one year). Instrumental and laboratory investigations were carried out in 93% of the patients prior to diagnosis of CH. Some of the patients had never received abortive or preventive medications, either before or after diagnosis. Medical prescription compliance: 88% of the cases.
Conclusions
Our results emphasize the need to improve specialist education in this field in order to improve recognition of the clinical picture of CH and increase knowledge of the proper medical treatments for de novo CH. Continuous medical education on CH should target general neurologists, primary care physicians, ENT specialists and dentists. A study on a larger population of CH patients may further improve error-avoidance strategies.
doi:10.1186/1129-2377-15-56
PMCID: PMC4166399  PMID: 25178541
Cluster headache; Diagnostic mistakes; Therapeutic mistakes; Headache guidelines
25.  Sinusitis in children and adolescents with chronic or recurrent headache: a case–control study 
The aim of this study was to determine the frequency of misdiagnosis of sinus headache in migraine and other primary headache types in the children and adolescents with chronic or recurrent headaches. Children with chronic or recurrent headaches (n = 310) were prospectively evaluated. Data collection for each patient included history of previously diagnosed sinusitis due to headache, and additional sinusitis complaints (such as fever, cough, nasal discharge, postnasal discharge) at the time of sinusitis diagnosis, and improvement of the headache following treatment of sinusitis. If sinus radiographs existed they were recorded. The study included 214 patients with complete data. One hundred and sixteen (54.2%) patients have been diagnosed as sinusitis previously and 25% of them had at least one additional complaint, while 75% of them had none. Sinusitis treatment had no effect on the headaches in 60.3% of the patients. Sinus graphy had been performed in 52.8%, and 50.4% of them were normal. The prevalence of sinus headache concomitant with primary headache, and only sinus headache was detected in 7 and 1%, respectively, in our study. Approximately 40% of the patients with migraine and 60% of the patients with tension-type headache had been misdiagnosed as “sinus headache”. Children with chronic or recurrent headaches are frequently misdiagnosed as sinus headache and receive unnecessary sinusitis treatment and sinus graphy.
doi:10.1007/s10194-008-0007-0
PMCID: PMC3476172  PMID: 18219442
Headache; Migraine; Sinusitis

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