Headache and Aneurysm

Neuroimaging Clin N Am. 2019 May;29(2):255-260. doi: 10.1016/j.nic.2019.01.004. Epub 2019 Feb 20.


Headache may be the most common presenting symptom of unruptured intracranial aneurysms. Unruptured intracranial aneurysm can be found in the work-up for headache but direct causality is not clear. Most of the headaches have been thought to be incidental symptoms of unruptured intracranial aneurysms. If high-risk patients with symptoms such as headache could be selected it would help in diagnosing unruptured intracranial aneurysms. Many aspects of unruptured intracranial aneurysm-associated headaches are unclear, including the mechanism, discriminating characteristics, and localization. This article reviews basic knowledge on cerebral aneurysm and headache, and describes the possible mechanism and characteristics of aneurysm-associated headaches.

Keywords: Aneurysm; Headache; Pathophysiology; Trigeminal nerves; Upper spinal nerves.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Headache / etiology*
  • Headache / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / complications*
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / diagnostic imaging*
  • Intracranial Aneurysm / physiopathology
  • Neuroimaging*