Korean Journal of Pediatrics 2009;52(8):869-874.
Published online August 15, 2009.
Short-lasting headaches in children and adolescents
Young-il Rho
Department of Pediatrics, School of Medicine, Chosun University, Gwangju, South Korea
소아청소년에서 short-lasting headaches
조선대학교 의과대학 소아과학교실
Young-il Rho, Email: ryoung@chosun.ac.kr
Short attacks of headache are present in the pediatric age group. Short-lasting headaches (SLH) have been infrequently reported in children and adolescents. This study aims to assess the prevalence, clinical characteristics, treatment, and prognosis of short-lasting headaches in children and adolescents.
One hundred twenty-three consecutive patients attended the Chosun University Hospital Headache Center between March 2006 and July 2007. Among 123 headache patients, 44 patients with one key criterion, namely, recurrent headaches episodes of a few seconds to less than 30 minutes, were selected.
Of the 123 headache patients, 44 (35.8%, males 18, females 26) had SLH. The mean age was 9.24 years (range 2.3-14.2). The mean headache frequency was 11.50±10.30 per month, mean severity was 4.86±1.36 out of 10, and the mean PedMIDAS score was 7.97±17.51. SLH was significantly more common in children <6 years old (10/22, 45.5%) than in ≥6 years old (34/101, 33.7%) (P=0.015). The nature of pain was pressure in 30.2%, stabbing in 27.9%, throbbing in 18.6%, and dull in 11.7%. In 52.4% patients, the pain occurred in the front, one side of the temple in 28.5%, both sides of the temple in 7.1%, and back in 4.8% patients. The duration of attacks was <6 minutes in 38% and ≥6 minutes in 61.4%. The intensity of the pain was 4-6 out of 10 in 75.0%, in 13.6% 1-3, and in 11.4% 7-10. Treatment was significantly effective in reducing the frequency, duration, and severity of headaches and the PedMIDAS score after 3 months (P<0.05).
Short attacks of headache are common (35.8%) in children and adolescents. These are difficult to classify according to International Headache Society criteria. The outcome, after a period of 3 months to 2 years, was favorable in most patients. Further studies are needed to gather more data and to obtain a better description of these forms of headache in the pediatric group.
Key Words: Short-lasting headache, Children

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