differential diagnosis

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    Headache disorders  are classified by the ICHD-II as (1)

      • primary headache disorders
        • migraine
        • tension type headache
        • cluster headache and other trigeminal autonomic cephalagias
        • other primary headache disorders
      • secondary headache disorders
        • these include a new headache occurring with another lesion capable of causing it.( e.g., headache attributed to intracranial tumour)

    The differential diagnosis of migraine is large, but includes:

    • tension headaches
    • depression
    • sinusitis
    • dental caries
    • in the elderly, transient ischaemic attacks
    • epilepsy
    • temporal lobe tumours, e.g. angiomata
    • arteriovenous malformations
    • phaeochromocytoma



    1. Headache classification subcommittee of the international headache society. The international classification of headache disorders.2nd edition. Cephalagia 2004; 1:24

    Last reviewed 05/2021