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J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2005 Aug;27(8):420-4.

Headache symptoms in pediatric sickle cell patients.

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1
Department of Anesthesiology & Peri-Operative Medicine, Oregon Health & Science University, 3181 SW Sam Jackson Park Rd., Portland, OR 97239, USA. palermot@ohsu.edu

Abstract

The purposes of this study were to determine the characteristics of headaches in children with sickle cell disease (SCD) and to assess the relationship between headache symptoms and children's physical and emotional status. A detailed headache questionnaire using International Classification of Headache Disorders (ICHD-2) criteria was mailed to a cohort (n = 50) of children with SCD, ages 9 to 17 years. Respondents also completed measures of functional disability and psychological distress. Headaches had occurred over the previous 3-month period in 76.2% of the patients. Frequent headaches were common, occurring greater than once a week in 31.2% of children. Average pain severity was reported as moderate on a 0-to-10 scale (mean = 5.8). Duration of headaches ranged from 30 minutes to several days, with a mean of 5 hours. Based on ICHD-2 criteria, 43.8% of children had headache symptoms consistent with migraines, 6.2% with migraine with aura, and 50.0% with tension-type headaches. Children with symptoms of migraine had significantly greater functional disability compared with children with symptoms of tension-type headaches (P < 0.01). Further studies to determine the characteristics and determinants of headaches experienced in SCD patients will help maximize treatment of headaches and enhance daily functioning in these patients.

PMID:
16096523
PMCID:
PMC1351111
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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