Great occipital nerve blockade for cluster headache in the emergency department: Case report

Lorena Scattoni, Fabrizio Di Stani, Veronica Villani, Demo Dugoni, Claudio Mostardini, Carlo Reale, Rosanna Cerbo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


A 44-year-old man with a past medical history of episodic cluster headache presented in our ED with complaints of multiple daily cluster headache attacks, with cervico-occipital spreading of pain from May to September 2004. The neurological examination showed no abnormalities as well as brain and spine MRI. Great Occipital Nerve (GON) blockade, with Lidocaine 2% (5 ml) and betamethasone (2 mg), were performed in the right occipital region (ipsilaterally to cluster headache), during attack. GON blockade was effective immediately for the attack and the cluster period resolved after the injection. We suppose that the action of GON blockade may involve the trigemino-cervical complex and we moreover strongly suggest to use GON blockade in emergency departments for cluster headache with cervico-occipital spreading as attack abortive therapy, especially in oxygen and sumatriptan resistant cluster headache attacks, in patients who complaints sumatriptan side-effects or have contraindications to use triptans.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)98-100
Number of pages3
JournalJournal of Headache and Pain
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2006


  • Cluster headache
  • Emergency department
  • Great occipital nerve blockade

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine
  • Neuroscience(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Great occipital nerve blockade for cluster headache in the emergency department: Case report'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this