Secondary intracranial causes for headaches in children.

Rooman Ahad, Eric H. Kossoff

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Although migraines are the most common cause of headaches in children, it is important to be cognizant of other, secondary causes of headaches. Secondary headaches are caused by an underlying etiology that may be systemic (medical) or due to a problem inherent in the central nervous system. Common intracranial etiologies for headache include structural (eg, tumor, hydrocephalus, Chiari malformation), infection (encephalitis or meningitis), inflammatory (acute disseminated encephalomyelitis, multiple sclerosis, vasculitis), and epilepsy. In some situations, early identification and appropriate treatment of these underlying conditions can result in complete headache resolution. This article discusses these secondary causes of headaches due to primary brain etiologies, focusing on aspects of the history that should lead a neurologist to order neuroimaging or electroencephalographic studies for these children.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)373-378
Number of pages6
JournalCurrent pain and headache reports
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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