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Primary stabbing headache in a headache clinic

, : Primary stabbing headache in a headache clinic. Cephalalgia 27(9): 1005-1009

Primary stabbing headache (PSH) is a short-lasting but troublesome headache disorder which has been known for several decades. We surveyed and registered consecutive patients with PSH in a headache clinic in Taiwan. A total of 80 patients (24 M/56 F, 53.2 +/- 16.2 years) were enrolled in our study. Migraine was reported in 20 (25%) patients and was less common in those with PSH onset at >50 years than those with onset at <50 years (14% vs. 38%, P = 0.02). The headache was unilateral in 59% of the patients and always in a fixed area in 36%. The head pain frequently involved extratrigeminal regions (70%) and in 30 patients (38%) was accompanied by jolts, i.e. head or body movements. Indomethacin was effective (74%) in patients who received it. Our study showed primary stabbing headache was a common and easily treated headache disorder in headache clinic. However, 70% of our patients could not fulfil criterion A 'exclusively or predominantly in the distribution of the first division of the trigeminal nerve' and 15% could not fulfil criterion C 'no accompanying symptoms' of the International Classification of Headache Disorders-II criteria proposed for PSH.


PMID: 17645765

DOI: 10.1111/j.1468-2982.2007.01365.x

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