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The Journal of Headache and Pain

, Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 263–270

First Online: 01 April 2012Received: 26 January 2012Accepted: 16 March 2012


The second edition of the International Classification of Headache Disorders makes a distinction between primary and secondary headaches. The diagnosis of a secondary headache is made if the underlying disease is thought to cause headache or if a close temporal relationship is present together with the occurrence of the headache. At first glance, this may allow clearly secondary headaches to be distinguished from primary headaches. However, by reviewing the available literature concerning several selected secondary headaches, we will discuss the hypothesis that some secondary headaches can also be understood as a variation of primary headaches in the sense that the underlying cause e.g. infusion of glyceryl trinitrate ICHD-II 8.1.1, epilepsy 7.6.2, brain tumours 7.4, craniotomy 5.7, etc. triggers the same neurophysiologic mechanisms that are responsible for the pain in primary headache attacks.

KeywordsSecondary headache Primary headache Headache triggers GTN Epilepsy Brain tumour Craniotomy  Download fulltext PDF

Autor: Christoph J. Schankin - Andreas Straube


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