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Headache. 2009 Jan;49(1):106-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1526-4610.2008.01293.x.

Inpatient treatment of status migraine with dihydroergotamine in children and adolescents.

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Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Department of Neurology, Cincinnati, OH 45229, USA.



To assess the effectiveness of aggressive therapy of status migraine in children and adolescents.


Inpatient management of pediatric status migraine and intractable headache is limited because of a lack of studies and guidelines. Adult treatment is often based on anecdotal experience, although a few controlled studies have been reported. Added to that is the discomfort of general pediatricians and neurologists in using available effective treatments in pediatric patients (such as dihydroergotamine: DHE).


Charts of all patients admitted to the neurology service, at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center-Department of Neurology, for inpatient treatment for intractable headache/status migraine over a 6-week period were reviewed. Demographics, evaluation, diagnosis, and treatment used were tabulated. Data on the effectiveness of the treatments provided were evaluated. Thirty-two total consecutive charts were retrospectively reviewed during that period.


Upon discharge, 74.4% of the patients were headache-free. The mean severity of the pain upon discharge was 1.02 +/- 2.22 (using the 0-10 pain scale).


From our review, DHE is very effective in treating and aborting an episode of status migraine and should be offered to children and adolescent patients who have failed their usual abortive therapy to prevent further severe disability that mainly affects their schooling and social activities.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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