Sturge-Weber syndrome (SWS) is a congenital neurovascular disorder characterised by capillary-venous malformations involving the skin, brain and eye. Patients experience headache, however little is known about its characteristics or associations. We aimed to estimate prevalence, associations and the impact of headache in children with SWS.
Case notes of all patients in a national tertiary paediatric SWS clinic were retrospectively reviewed. Patients were categorised into those with or without a history of headache, with an analysis performed of clinical stigmata of their disease and headache symptomology, associations and treatment. A multivariable logistic regression analysis was undertaken to elicit independent predictors of headache.
37% of patients with SWS (n = 84) reported headaches that were variably associated with seizures, a preceding blow to the head and a minority had migraine features. In those reporting headaches, headaches interfered with daily activities of a quarter of the children and 39% experienced headaches frequently (more than 1/month). Headache was associated with glaucoma and aspirin administration while children with monoplegia and hemiplegia were less likely to have headache.
Headache is common in children with SWS, often without classical migraine features and affects daily activities. Awareness of headache and its associations in SWS may improve management of this complex population.
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