Chronic Cluster Headaches

  • Soma Sahai-SrivastavaEmail author


Chronic cluster headache is defined in the ICHD-3 as cluster attacks occurring for more than 1 year without remission or with remission periods lasting less than 1 month. The author presents a narrative review of current literature on chronic cluster headaches, a rare form of trigeminal autonomic cephalalgias in which attacks occur without remission for over a year. I will summarize current knowledge on diagnostic criteria, differential diagnosis, pathophysiology, and management of chronic cluster headaches, an extremely disabling disorder. Generally, there is a delay in diagnosis of more than 6 years in recognizing this type of headache. Little is known about the pathogenesis of these headaches, though with newer functional imaging modalities, we are closer to understanding whether the hypothalamus and suprachiasmatic nucleus are involved, as in episodic cluster. In addition, newer therapies including sphenopalatine ganglion and vagus nerve stimulators are emerging, making early recognition of these disorders more clinically relevant.


Cluster headache Chronic cluster headache Atypical cluster headache Cluster headache syndrome Histamine cephalgia Horton’s syndrome Trigeminal autonomic cephalalgias Primary headache disorder Chronic daily headache Chronic headache 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Clinical Professor of NeurologyKeck school of MedicineLos AngelesUSA

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