Treatment of Cluster Headache and Other Trigeminal Autonomic Cephalalgias

  • Peer Carsten Tfelt-Hansen
  • Shireen Qureshi
  • Paolo Martelletti
Reference work entry


Cluster headache is one of a group of primary headache disorders (trigeminal autonomic cephalalgias) of uncertain mechanism that are characterized by frequently recurring, short-lasting but extremely severe headache. Involvement of the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the hypothalamus, the biological clock, has been correlated to clinical features and abnormalities of circadian rhythm seen in cluster headaches. It probably affects about 1/1,000 adults with characteristically recognizable features at ratio of 5:1 in men to women.

Symptomatic acute treatments include triptans and inhalational oxygen. A wide range of preventative medication is considered depending on the length of cluster attacks, not by whether the patient has episodic or chronic form. Refractory drug-resistant chronic cluster headache is the unique form eligible for surgical choices.


Cluster Headache Chronic Cluster Headache Paroxysmal Hemicrania Cluster Headache Patient Great Occipital Nerve 
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Copyright information

© Lifting The Burden 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Peer Carsten Tfelt-Hansen
    • 1
  • Shireen Qureshi
    • 2
  • Paolo Martelletti
    • 3
  1. 1.Danish Headache Centre and Department of NeurologyGlostrup Hospital, University of CopenhagenGlostrupDenmark
  2. 2.Department of Internal MedicineSaudi Aramco, Dhahran Health CenterDhahranSaudi Arabia
  3. 3.Department of Medical and Molecular SciencesSchool of Health Sciences, Sapienza University of RomeRomeItaly

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