Chronic posttraumatic headache in children and adolescents.

  • Callaghan M
  • Abu-Arafeh I
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Little is known about chronic posttraumatic headache (PTH) in children and adolescents. In this study we report on symptoms, clinical findings, and management of all children seen in our headache clinic who presented with recurrent headache following head injuries. A total of 23 children were identified over a period of 4 years. Twenty-one children (13 male, eight female; mean age 11.2 years, age range 3.3 to 14.9 years, median 12.1 years) fulfilled the International Headache Society's clinical criteria for the diagnosis of chronic PTH. Mean duration of headache was 13.3 months (range 2 to 60 months, median 7 months). Children were followed up for a period of 5 to 29 months (mean 12.5 months, median 9 months). Head injuries were classified as serious in four patients and minor in 17. Clinical variables were compared between children with PTH and those without a history of head injury. The headaches were migraine in five patients, tension type in 13, and mixed in three patients. Tension-type headache was significantly more common in children with chronic PTH than in those with no history of head injury, but the clinical course was comparable in the two groups.

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  • M Callaghan

  • I Abu-Arafeh

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