EHMTI-0103. Errors in recognition and management are still frequent in cluster headache

  • M Sánchez del Río
  • R Leira
  • P Pozo-Rosich
  • JM Laínez
  • R Alvarez
  • J Pascual
Open Access
Meeting abstract


General Population Migraine Good Knowledge Sinusitis Primary Headache 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


The prevalence of cluster headache (CH) is estimated to be around 0.1% of the general population; that is most likely physicians will be consulted by patients with CH during their clinical practice.


To analyse the trajectory to diagnosis and information provided in a series of CH patients from five headache clinics in Spain.


CH patients were asked to fulfil an ad hoc questionnaire.


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. Aetiology (90%), management options (36%) and potential adverse events of medications (29%) were their main information demands.


Although CH is an invalidating and clinically clear-cut disorder suffered by around 1/1000 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.

No conflict of interest.

Copyright information

© del Río et al; licensee Springer. 2014

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Authors and Affiliations

  • M Sánchez del Río
    • 1
  • R Leira
    • 2
  • P Pozo-Rosich
    • 3
  • JM Laínez
    • 4
  • R Alvarez
    • 5
  • J Pascual
    • 6
  1. 1.NeurologyHospital Ruber InternacionalMadridSpain
  2. 2.NeurologyHospital UniversitarioSantiago de CompostelaSpain
  3. 3.NeurologyHospital Universitario Vall de HebronBarcelonaSpain
  4. 4.NeurologyHospital Clínico UniversitarioValenciaSpain
  5. 5.NeurologyHospital Universitario Central de AsturiasOviedoSpain
  6. 6.NeurologyHospital Universitario Central de Asturias and IneuropaOviedoSpain

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