Cluster headache (CH) is a rare underdiagnosed primary headache disorder with very severe unilateral pain and autonomic symptoms. Clinical characteristics of Korean patients with CH have not yet been reported. We analyzed the clinical features of CH patients from 11 university hospitals in Korea. Among a total of 200 patients with CH, only 1 patient had chronic CH. The average age of CH patients was 38.1 ± 8.9 years (range 19–60 years) and the average age of onset was 30.7 ± 10.3 years (range 10–57 years). The male-to-female ratio was 7:1 (2.9:1 among teen-onset and 11.7:1 among twenties-onset). Pain was very severe at 9.3 ± 1.0 on the visual analogue scale. The average duration of each attack was 100.6 ± 55.6 minutes and a bout of CH lasted 6.5 ± 4.5 weeks. Autonomic symptoms were present in 93.5% and restlessness or agitation was present in 43.5% of patients. Patients suffered 3.0 ± 3.5 (range 1–25) bouts over 7.3 ± 6.7 (range 1–30) years. Diurnal periodicity and season propensity were present in 68.5% and 44.0% of patients, respectively. There were no sex differences in associated symptoms or diurnal and seasonal periodicity. Korean CH patients had a high male-to-female ratio, relatively short bout duration, and low proportion of chronic CH, unlike CH patients in Western countries.
We present a study of the general-population prevalence of cluster headache in the Republic of Georgia and discuss the advantages and challenges of different methodological approaches. In a community-based survey, specially trained medical residents visited 500 adjacent households in the capital city, Tbilisi, and 300 households in the eastern rural area of Kakheti.
Cluster headache is a rare disorder in women, but has a serious impact on the affected woman’s life, especially on family planning. Women with cluster headache who are pregnant need special support, including the expertise of an experienced headache centre, an experienced gynecologist and possibly a teratology information centre. The patient should be seen through all stages of the pregnancy. A detailed briefing about the risks and safety of various treatment options is mandatory. In general, both the number of medications and the dosage should be kept as low as possible.
The clinical characteristics of cluster headache in women are very similar to those in men. Women develop the disorder at an earlier age of onset and experience more “migrainous symptoms” with cluster headache, especially vomiting. Both men and women have frequent photophobia and phonophobia with cluster headache attacks. These symptoms are not included in the International Headache Society cluster headache criteria, suggesting the need for possible criteria revision.
This paper reviews the diagnostic features of cluster headache-like disorder and describes its presentation in childhood. Case note summaries of patients with this condition are presented in the context of a brief summary of the literature. Four patients (two girls; aged 12 to 15 years) with cluster headache-like disorder were seen over a period of four years in the paediatric neurology department of Birmingham Children’s Hospital.