To compare clinical features in youth with continuous headache from migraine, persistent post-traumatic headache, and new daily persistent headache to determine if they are similar, contrary to their distinction in the International Classification of Headache Disorders.
We pursued a single center age- and sex-matched observational study comparing the clinical characteristics of 150 youth (11 - 17 years old) with continuous headache from migraine, persistent post-traumatic headache, and new daily persistent headache. A diagnostic algorithm based on international classification of headache disorders criteria was used to identify those with migraine (headache features of migraine with gradual onset), and persistent post-traumatic headache and new daily persistent headache (based on the circumstances of headache onset regardless of headache features). Fifty participants each with migraine, persistent post-traumatic headache, and new daily persistent headache were matched by age and sex. Participant survey responses on headache characteristics were compared.
Median usual headache severity was 6.0 [95%CI 6.0, 6.0] and was not different across diagnostic groups (H statistic = 1.2, p = 0.55). Headache exacerbation frequency, disability, associated symptoms, and most triggers were not significantly different across groups. The majority of persistent post-traumatic headache and new daily persistent headache had headache features consistent with a diagnose of migraine (72% and 62%, respectively).
Our findings suggest that most persistent post-traumatic headache and new daily persistent headache may represent abrupt onset of migraine.