Peri-ictal headaches in the paediatric population – prospective study

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Cephalalgia, Ahead of Print.
IntroductionThe co-occurrence of headache and epilepsy is well-documented in the adult population. The aim of the prospective study was to analyse in the paediatric population the correlations between the types of peri-ictal headaches and types of seizures. Furthermore, an attempt was made to find trends in characteristic features of peri-ictal headaches.Material: A total of 57 children with peri-ictal headache were enrolled in the study. The participants’ guardians were asked to keep a diary of the seizure and peri-ictal headache episodes during a 180-day period. During follow-up visits, systematic history regarding peri-ictal headaches was taken.ResultsA total of 913 seizure and 325 peri-ictal headache episodes were noted during the study. Post-ictal headaches were most common, occurring in < 1 h after the seizure, lasting minutes to hours and more likely to occur after generalised seizures, whereas pre-ictal headaches occurred 30–240 min before the seizure. In the analysed group, peri-ictal headaches were most often moderate in intensity. Only 30% of patients took analgesic medication, usually to treat post-ictal headaches.ConclusionPeri-ictal headaches are a significant health problem for patients with epilepsy. The most common type are post-ictal headaches, and they are most likely to appear after a generalised seizure.

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