Cluster headache: When to worry? Two case reports

Authors:  Matteo Bellamio, Mariagiulia Anglani, Federico Mainardi, Giorgio Zanchin, Ferdinando Maggioni
Source:  Cephalalgia, Volume: 37 issue: 5, page(s): 491-495


The clinical criteria for cluster headache (CH) are included in Chapter 3 of the International Classification of Headache Disorders, 3rd beta edition (ICHD-III). CH may sometimes be secondary to other pathologies.

We report two patients in whom the clinical features of CH initially fulfilled the ICHD-III criteria, but who later presented some radical modifications in headache natural history as a result of a secondary pathology. The first case of CH was secondary to a pontine cavernous angioma and the second to a cerebral venous thrombosis.

We highlight the importance of clinical modifications of CH that could suggest clinical investigations should be performed or repeated to exclude a secondary pathology in a previously diagnosed cluster headache. Some of the pathological mechanisms of CH and brain lesions are discussed.

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