Secondary Headaches

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Abstract

Purpose of Review: This article identifies the pertinent historical issues that lead to the identification of those headaches needing additional testing to exclude a serious underlying cause.

Recent Findings: Recurrences of giant cell arteritis, even after presumed successful treatment, are common. Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome is an often unrecognized cause of headache.

Summary: Patients with a primary headache disorder are more susceptible to the development of headache when a secondary cause occurs. Their headaches may be phenotypically similar to their primary headache disorder. Therefore, a secondary cause should be considered in patients with preexisting headache disorders who develop a significant increase in the number and severity of those attacks.

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