16 research outputs found

    Exploring the diagnosis of cluster headache : a multi-method study

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    Background: Cluster headache (CH) is a severe primary headache affecting 1/1000 people of the general population. The diagnostic delay, misdiagnosis and mismanagement of CH are well evidenced in the literature. The aim of this doctoral research is to understand the under- recognition by exploring the diagnosis of CH.Methods: Multi-method study comprised of four main parts:(1) A systematic literature review on the delays in diagnosis and misdiagnosis of CH;(2) A literature review on the pathophysiology of CH;(3) A prospective observational study of a novel screening tool with images depicting headache pain that could differentiate between CH and migraine. Images depicting headache pain were assessed on healthy participants to test if they depict a range of pain severities. The screening tool was tested and refined in a pilot study and subsequently assessed in a larger-scale study. The total screening tool score (which ranged between 3-32) was used as predictor of CH.(4) A qualitative study with semi-structured interviews that explored the perceptions on the CH diagnosis among three key stakeholder groups: participants with CH, GPs and neurologists. Results:(1) The systematic literature review brought together the existing evidence on diagnostic delays, numerous misdiagnosis, consultation of multiple clinicians and mismanagement of CH. (2) The literature review on the pathophysiology of CH summarised the research on the biomedical aspects of CH and informed on the imaging, peptide and genetic studies in CH. (3) Six images depicting headache pain tested on 150 healthy participants showed a range of severities from mild to excruciating. The screening tool was piloted on 100 patients with migraine and 16 patients with CH. The refined screening tool was assessed on 81 patients with CH and 215 patients with migraine. Patients with CH had a higher mean test score compared to patients with migraine (28.4 versus 19.5). At a cut-off score of >25 out of 32, the screening tool for CH had a sensitivity of 86.4% and a specificity of 92.0%.(4) The qualitative data set that included 26 patients with CH, eight GPs and eight neurologists identified prolonged diagnostic journey of CH with significant impact on social life and mental health. Both patient and clinician’s factors are involved in the diagnostic delay.Conclusions: This multi-method study identified challenges around the timely diagnosis of CH and multiple factors involved in the under-recognition of CH. The screening tool could be a useful instrument to aid the diagnosis of CH. Validation in other medical settings including primary care is required

    Development and evaluation of a screening tool to aid the diagnosis of a cluster headache

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    Cluster headache (CH), a severe primary headache, is often misdiagnosed and mismanaged. The aim of this study was to develop and evaluate a screening tool to aid the diagnosis of CH. We developed a novel 12-item screening tool. This was comprised of four components: (1) images depicting headache pain; (2) pain descriptors; (3) key questions that could differentiate between CH and migraine; and (4) a visual analogue pain scale. The total possible questionnaire score ranged from 3-32. Patients with CH and migraines (control group) were recruited prospectively from a headache centre in the North of England, UK. Two-hundred and ninety-six patients were included in the study: 81 CH patients, 36 of which suffer with episodic CH and 45 with chronic CH; 215 migraine patients, 92 of which suffer with episodic migraine and 123 with chronic migraine. The mean questionnaire score was higher in CH patients versus migraine patients (28.4 versus 19.5). At a cut-off score of >25 out of 32, the screening tool had a sensitivity of 86.4% and a specificity of 92.0% in differentiating between CH and migraine. The screening tool could be a useful instrument to aid the diagnosis of a CH. The images depicting headache pain do not clearly discriminate between CH and migraine

    Update on the pathophysiology of cluster headache: Imaging and neuropeptide studies

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    Objective: Cluster headache (CH) is the most severe primary headache condition. Its pathophysiology is multifaceted and incompletely understood. This review brings together the latest neuroimaging and neuropeptide evidence on the pathophysiology of CH.Methods: A review of the literature was conducted by searching PubMed and Web of Science. The search was conducted using the following keywords: imaging studies, voxel-based morphometry, diffusion-tensor imaging, diffusion magnetic resonance imaging, tractography, connectivity, cerebral networks, neuromodulation, central modulation, deep brain stimulation, orexin-A, orexin-B, tract-based spatial statistics, single-photon emission computer tomography studies, positron-emission tomography, functional magnetic resonance imaging, magnetic resonance spectroscopy, trigeminovascular system, neuropeptides, calcitonin gene-related peptide, neurokinin A, substance P, nitric oxide synthase, pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating peptide, vasoactive intestinal peptide, neuropeptide Y, acetylcholine, noradrenaline, and ATP. “Cluster headache” was combined with each keyword for more relevant results. All irrelevant and duplicated records were excluded. Search dates were from October 1976 to May 2018.Results: Neuroimaging studies support the role of the hypothalamus in CH, as well as other brain areas involved in the pain matrix. Activation of the trigeminovascular system and the release of neuropeptides play an important role in CH pathophysiology. Among neuropeptides, calcitonin gene-related peptide, vasoactive intestinal peptide, and pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating peptide have been reported to be reliable biomarkers for CH attacks, though not specific for CH. Several other neuropeptides are involved in trigeminovascular activation, but the current evidence does not qualify them as reliable biomarkers in CH.Conclusion: CH has a complex pathophysiology and the pain mechanism is not completely understood. Recent neuroimaging studies have provided insight into the functional and structural network bases of CH pathophysiology. Although there has been important progress in neuropeptide studies, a specific biomarker for CH is yet to be found

    Images depicting headache pain – a tool to aid the diagnosis of cluster headache: a pilot study

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    Introduction and objective: The diagnosis of primary headaches is based on the International Classification of Headache Disorders (ICHD-3). Cluster headache (CH), a debilitating primary headache, is often misdiagnosed as migraine. In the absence of biological markers, a new visual screening tool with images depicting pain could aid the correct diagnosis of CH. The objective of the study is to test the tool on healthy participants and participants with CH and migraine.Methods: In phase 1, 6 images portraying people with pain were tested on 150 healthy participants. The healthy participants were asked to rate the images as mild, moderate, severe or excruciating pain. In phase 2, the images were further tested on 116 participants with headache (16 participants with CH, 100 participants with migraine). The participants were recruited prospectively from a tertiary headache center between February and May 2017. The participants were asked to choose which image best illustrated their headache attacks.Results: Phase 1 results showed that the images represent a range of headache pain severities from mild to excruciating as rated by healthy participants. They rated two images as excruciating, one image as severe, one image as moderate/severe, one image as moderate and one image as mild. Phase 2 results showed that two-thirds of participants with CH (69%) and half of the participants with migraine (52%) chose an image described as excruciating by the healthy participants.Conclusion: We developed a screening tool with six drawings depicting headache pain severities from mild to excruciating as rated by the healthy participants. Although the images did not differentiate between CH and migraine, the study indicated the potential of using visual aids to assess headache severity

    Development and evaluation of a screening tool to aid the diagnosis of a cluster headache

    Get PDF
    Cluster headache (CH), a severe primary headache, is often misdiagnosed and mismanaged. The aim of this study was to develop and evaluate a screening tool to aid the diagnosis of CH. We developed a novel 12-item screening tool. This was comprised of four components: (1) images depicting headache pain; (2) pain descriptors; (3) key questions that could differentiate between CH and migraine; and (4) a visual analogue pain scale. The total possible questionnaire score ranged from 3-32. Patients with CH and migraines (control group) were recruited prospectively from a headache centre in the North of England, UK. Two-hundred and ninety-six patients were included in the study: 81 CH patients, 36 of which suffer with episodic CH and 45 with chronic CH; 215 migraine patients, 92 of which suffer with episodic migraine and 123 with chronic migraine. The mean questionnaire score was higher in CH patients versus migraine patients (28.4 versus 19.5). At a cut-off score of >25 out of 32, the screening tool had a sensitivity of 86.4% and a specificity of 92.0% in differentiating between CH and migraine. The screening tool could be a useful instrument to aid the diagnosis of a CH. The images depicting headache pain do not clearly discriminate between CH and migraine

    Systematic literature review on the delays in the diagnosis and misdiagnosis of cluster headache

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    IntroductionPatients with cluster headache (CH), the most common trigeminal autonomic cephalalgia, often face delayed diagnosis, misdiagnosis and mismanagement.ObjectivesTo identify, appraise and synthesise clinical studies on the delays in diagnosis and misdiagnosis of CH in order to determine its causes and help the management of this condition.MethodsThe systematic review was prepared, conducted and reported in accordance with the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. It was registered with International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews. A systematic search of different electronic databases (Medline, EMBASE, PsycINFO, PubMed, CINAHL, BNI, HMIC, AMED, HBE and Cochrane Library) was carried out in May 2017. Reference lists of relevant articles were hand searched.ResultsThe search identified 201 unique studies. Fifteen studies met the inclusion criteria of which 13 case series studies and two survey studies. Nine studies assessed the delays in diagnosis and misdiagnosis of CH, five studies the delays in diagnosis and one study the misdiagnosis of CH. The studies included 4661 patients. Delays in diagnosis, misdiagnosis and mismanagement have been reported in many European countries, Japan and in the USA with well-developed health services. The patients with CH often visited many different clinicians, surgeons and dentists and received multiple diagnosis prior to being correctly diagnosed.ConclusionThis systematic review shows that the delays in the diagnosis of CH are a widespread problem, the time to diagnosis still vary from country to country and both patients and physicians are responsible for the delays in diagnosis

    Management of Cerebral Venous Thrombosis Due to Adenoviral COVID-19 Vaccination

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    Objective Cerebral venous thrombosis (CVT) caused by vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (VITT) is a rare adverse effect of adenovirus-based severe acute respiratory syndrome-coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) vaccines. In March 2021, after autoimmune pathogenesis of VITT was discovered, treatment recommendations were developed. These comprised immunomodulation, non-heparin anticoagulants, and avoidance of platelet transfusion. The aim of this study was to evaluate adherence to these recommendations and its association with mortality. Methods We used data from an international prospective registry of patients with CVT after the adenovirus-based SARS-CoV-2 vaccination. We analyzed possible, probable, or definite VITT-CVT cases included until January 18, 2022. Immunomodulation entailed administration of intravenous immunoglobulins and/or plasmapheresis. Results Ninety-nine patients with VITT-CVT from 71 hospitals in 17 countries were analyzed. Five of 38 (13%), 11 of 24 (46%), and 28 of 37 (76%) of the patients diagnosed in March, April, and from May onward, respectively, were treated in-line with VITT recommendations (p < 0.001). Overall, treatment according to recommendations had no statistically significant influence on mortality (14/44 [32%] vs 29/55 [52%], adjusted odds ratio [OR] = 0.43, 95% confidence interval [CI] = 0.16-1.19). However, patients who received immunomodulation had lower mortality (19/65 [29%] vs 24/34 [70%], adjusted OR = 0.19, 95% CI = 0.06-0.58). Treatment with non-heparin anticoagulants instead of heparins was not associated with lower mortality (17/51 [33%] vs 13/35 [37%], adjusted OR = 0.70, 95% CI = 0.24-2.04). Mortality was also not significantly influenced by platelet transfusion (17/27 [63%] vs 26/72 [36%], adjusted OR = 2.19, 95% CI = 0.74-6.54). Conclusions In patients with VITT-CVT, adherence to VITT treatment recommendations improved over time. Immunomodulation seems crucial for reducing mortality of VITT-CVT. ANN NEUROL 2022Peer reviewe

    Cerebral venous sinus thrombosis due to vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia in middle-income countries

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    Background: Adenovirus-based COVID-19 vaccines are extensively used in low- and middle-income countries (LMICs). Remarkably, cases of cerebral venous sinus thrombosis due to vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (CVST-VITT) have rarely been reported from LMICs. Aims: We studied the frequency, manifestations, treatment, and outcomes of CVST-VITT in LMICs. Methods: We report data from an international registry on CVST after COVID-19 vaccination. VITT was classified according to the Pavord criteria. We compared CVST-VITT cases from LMICs to cases from high-income countries (HICs). Results: Until August 2022, 228 CVST cases were reported, of which 63 were from LMICs (all middle-income countries [MICs]: Brazil, China, India, Iran, Mexico, Pakistan, Turkey). Of these 63, 32 (51%) met the VITT criteria, compared to 103 of 165 (62%) from HICs. Only 5 of the 32 (16%) CVST-VITT cases from MICs had definite VITT, mostly because anti-platelet factor 4 antibodies were often not tested. The median age was 26 (interquartile range [IQR] 20–37) versus 47 (IQR 32–58) years, and the proportion of women was 25 of 32 (78%) versus 77 of 103 (75%) in MICs versus HICs, respectively. Patients from MICs were diagnosed later than patients from HICs (1/32 [3%] vs. 65/103 [63%] diagnosed before May 2021). Clinical manifestations, including intracranial hemorrhage, were largely similar as was intravenous immunoglobulin use. In-hospital mortality was lower in MICs (7/31 [23%, 95% confidence interval (CI) 11–40]) than in HICs (44/102 [43%, 95% CI 34–53], p = 0.039). Conclusions: The number of CVST-VITT cases reported from LMICs was small despite the widespread use of adenoviral vaccines. Clinical manifestations and treatment of CVST-VITT cases were largely similar in MICs and HICs, while mortality was lower in patients from MICs.</p

    Sex differences in cerebral venous sinus thrombosis after adenoviral vaccination against COVID-19

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    Introduction: Cerebral venous sinus thrombosis associated with vaccine-induced immune thrombotic thrombocytopenia (CVST-VITT) is a severe disease with high mortality. There are few data on sex differences in CVST-VITT. The aim of our study was to investigate the differences in presentation, treatment, clinical course, complications, and outcome of CVST-VITT between women and men. Patients and methods: We used data from an ongoing international registry on CVST-VITT. VITT was diagnosed according to the Pavord criteria. We compared the characteristics of CVST-VITT in women and men. Results: Of 133 patients with possible, probable, or definite CVST-VITT, 102 (77%) were women. Women were slightly younger [median age 42 (IQR 28–54) vs 45 (28–56)], presented more often with coma (26% vs 10%) and had a lower platelet count at presentation [median (IQR) 50x109/L (28–79) vs 68 (30–125)] than men. The nadir platelet count was lower in women [median (IQR) 34 (19–62) vs 53 (20–92)]. More women received endovascular treatment than men (15% vs 6%). Rates of treatment with intravenous immunoglobulins were similar (63% vs 66%), as were new venous thromboembolic events (14% vs 14%) and major bleeding complications (30% vs 20%). Rates of good functional outcome (modified Rankin Scale 0-2, 42% vs 45%) and in-hospital death (39% vs 41%) did not differ. Discussion and conclusions: Three quarters of CVST-VITT patients in this study were women. Women were more severely affected at presentation, but clinical course and outcome did not differ between women and men. VITT-specific treatments were overall similar, but more women received endovascular treatment.</p

    Evidence-based treatments for cluster headache

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