Headache in patients with idiopathic intracranial hypertension: A pilot study to assess applicability of ICHD-2 diagnostic criteria

D. D'Amico, M. Curone, G. Faragò, E. Mea, V. Tullo, A. Proietti, S. Bianchi Marzoli, P. Ciasca, G. Bussone

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Headache is one of the most common symptoms of idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH). The aim of this study was to investigate the applicability of the diagnostic criteria for ''Headache attributed to IIH'' included in the current classification of headache disorders, particularly as far as the main headache features. A consecutive clinical series of IIH patients with demonstration of increased intracranial pressure by lumbar puncture in the recumbent position were enrolled. Among a total of 22 patients, headache was reported by 14. The proportion of patients reporting the main headache features required by diagnostic criteria were: 93 % for daily or nearly-daily occurrence; 71.5 % for diffuse/non-pulsating pain; 57 % for aggravation by coughing/straining. Thus, these three headache features, at least one of which is required for diagnosis of headache attributed to IIH, were present in the vast majority of our sample, suggesting that their inclusion should be regarded as appropriate. The analysis of our results may suggest possible changes in the current ICDH-2 criteria for headache attributed to IIH, based on the following considerations: the existence of remarkable differences as far as the relative frequency of each headache feature; the fact that diffuse and non-pulsating pain-included in the current classification as a single requirement-were not always found together; the high frequency of migrainous associated symptoms (nausea or photophobia-phonophobia were present in 71.5 % cases).

Original languageEnglish
JournalNeurological Sciences
Issue numberSUPPL. 1
Publication statusPublished - May 2012


  • Headache
  • Idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH)
  • International Classification of Headache Disorders (ICHD-2)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Dermatology


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