Errors in Recognition and Management are Still Frequent in Patients with Cluster HeadacheSánchez del Rio M.a · Leira R.b · Pozo-Rosich P.c · Laínez J.M.d · Alvarez R.e · Pascual J.e
Services of Neurology, aRuber International Hospital, Madrid, bUniversity Hospital Santiago de Compostela, Santiago de Compostela, cUniversity Hospital Vall d'Hebron, Headache Research Lab, VHIR, Universitat Autonoma Barcelona, Barcelona, dHospital Clínico Universitario, Valencia, and eUniversity Hospital Central de Asturias and Ineuropa, Oviedo, Spain
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Article / Publication Details
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.
© 2014 S. Karger AG, Basel
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