Transient and localized stabs of pain in the head that occur spontaneously in the absence of organic disease of underlying structures or of the cranial nerves.

Diagnostic criteria:

A. Head pain occurring spontaneously as a single stab or series of stabs and fulfilling criteria B-D
B. Each stab lasts for up to a few seconds
C. Stabs recur with irregular frequency, from one to many per day
D. No cranial autonomic symptoms


Headache Classification Committee of the International Headache Society (IHS) (2013). The International Classification of Headache Disorders, 3rd edition (beta version). Cephalalgia 2013; 33: 9-807.

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