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J Headache Pain. 2013 Mar 21;14:27. doi: 10.1186/1129-2377-14-27.

Clinical profile of cluster headaches in China - a clinic-based study.

Author information

1
International Headache Center, Department of Neurology, Chinese PLA General Hospital, Fuxing Road 28 Haidian District, Beijing 100853, China.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

The clinical profile of cluster headache in Chinese patients have not been fully studied.

METHODS:

The classification and clinical features of 120 consecutive patients with cluster headache (105 males, 15 females; mean age, 34.9 ± 10.5 years) visiting at International Headache Center from May 2010 to August 2012 were analyzed.

RESULTS:

Patients came from 16 different regions of China. Mean age at onset of cluster headache was 26.7 ± 10.9 years. Only 13 patients (10.8%) had previously been diagnosed with cluster headache. Mean time to diagnosis from first symptoms was 8.2 ± 7.1 years (range, 0-35 years). Chronic cluster headache was observed in only 9 patients (7.5%). The most commonly reported location of cluster headache was temporal region (75.0%), followed by retro-orbital region (68.3%), forehead (32.5%), vertex (32.5%) and occipital (22.5%). Lacrimation was the most consistently reported autonomic feature (72.5%). During acute attacks, 60.0% of patients experienced nausea, and 41.7% experienced photophobia and 40.8% experienced phonophobia. In addition, 38.3% reported restless behavior and 45.8% reported that physical activity exacerbated the pain. None of patients experienced visual or other kinds of aura symptoms before cluster attacks. We found that 38.3% of patients had <1 cluster period and 35.8% for 1-2 cluster periods per year with these periods occurring less frequently during the summer than during other seasons. Cluster duration was 1-2 months in 32.5% of patients. During cluster periods, 73.3% of patients had 1-2 attacks per day, and 39.2% experienced cluster attacks ranging in duration from 1 h to less than 2 h. The duration of attacks were 1.5 (1-2.25) hours for males and 1.5 (1-3) for females respectively. The World Health Organization quality of life-8 questionnaire showed that cluster headache reduced life quality.

CONCLUSIONS:

Compared to Western patients, Chinese patients showed a relatively low prevalence of chronic cluster headaches, pain sites mainly focused on areas distributed by the first division of the trigeminal nerve, a low frequency of restlessness and absent aura. These clinical features may be more common in Eastern populations, including mainland Chinese, Japanese and Taiwanese patients, than in Western patients.

PMID:
23574884
PMCID:
PMC3620490
DOI:
10.1186/1129-2377-14-27
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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