There are limited literature data on migraine-like accompanying features (MLF) in patients with cluster headache (CH). These symptoms are frequently reported by patients and may delay CH diagnosis. The aim of the present study was to investigate the occurrence of migraine-like symptoms in an Italian case series of CH patients and to determine whether these features influence the clinical phenotype of CH.
Data on clinical differences between episodic (eCH) and chronic cluster headache (cCH) and accompanying migraine features are limited. History and clinical features of 209 consecutive cluster headache patients (144 eCH, 65 cCH; male:female ratio 3.4 : 1) were obtained in a tertiary headache centre by face-to-face interviews. Relationship between occurrence of accompanying symptoms, pain intensity, comorbid migraine, and circannual and circadian rhythmicity was analyzed.
Head pain arises within the trigeminal nociceptive system. Current theories propose that the trigeminal system is intimately involved in the pathogenesis of migraine. Short-latency responses can be recorded in sternocleidomastoid muscles after stimulation of the trigeminal nerve (trigemino-cervical reflex). This brainstem reflex could be a suitable method to evaluate the trigeminal system in migraine and CH.