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Errors in recognition and management are still frequent in patients with cluster headache

01-jun-2014 | Revista: European Neurology

Sánchez Del Rio M (1), Leira R, Pozo-Rosich P, Laínez JM, Alvarez R, Pascual J.

(1) Service of Neurology, Ruber International Hospital, Madrid, Spain.


OBJECTIVES:

To analyze the trajectory to diagnosis and information provided in a series of cluster headache (CH) patients from five headache clinics.

METHODS:

CH patients were asked to fill in an ad hoc questionnaire.

RESULTS:

Seventy-five patients (mean age 41.5 years, 67 males) completed the questionnaire. Patients had visited during an average of 4.9 years a mean of 4.6 physicians who had obtained 2.5 neuroimaging procedures per patient before getting a diagnosis of CH. Sixty-three (84%) had received no diagnosis (21 cases; 28%), while 43 (57%) had been given an average of 2.1 alternative diagnoses. Migraine, trigeminal neuralgia and sinusitis were the most frequent mistakes.

After diagnosis, 55% had subjectively received poor/very poor information on CH. Ninety-five percent had poor or incorrect information about the nature of the disease, or acute (70%) and preventive (61%) treatments.

Etiology (90%), management options (36%) and potential adverse events of medications (29%) were their main information demands.

CONCLUSIONS:

Although CH is an invalidating and clinically clear-cut disorder suffered by around 1/1,000 people, it is still frequently unrecognized and/or mistaken for other disorders, which calls for a better knowledge and education in the diagnosis of the main primary headaches.

CITA DEL ARTÍCULO  Eur Neurol. 2014;72(3-4):209-12. doi: 10.1159/000362517. Epub 2014 Sep 13.

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