Retrospective Evaluation of Patients Admitted to the Pediatric Neurology Outpatient Clinic with Headache: Experience of a Tertiary Hospital

Sisli Etfal Hastan Tip Bul. 2024 Apr 5;58(1):109-115. doi: 10.14744/SEMB.2023.86244. eCollection 2024.


Objectives: It was aimed to determine the etiological and clinical features of pediatric patients with headache complaints.

Methods: The files of patients who were admitted to the pediatric neurology outpatient clinic with headache were reviewed retrospectively. Patients' age, gender, features of headache, symptoms accompanying headache, available blood tests, brain magnetic resonance (MR) and electroencephalography (EEG) results were recorded.

Results: Of the total 470 patients, aged between 3 and 17 years, 291 (61.9%) were female and 179 (39.1%) were male. The mean age of the patients was 12.38±3.45 years. According to age groups, there were 16 (3.4%) patients under the age of 5, 159 (33.8%) between the ages of 6-11, and 295 (62.8%) patients aged 12-17 years. While 289 (61.5%) patients were diagnosed with primary headache, 122 (26.0%) patients were diagnosed with secondary headache, and headaches of 59 (12.5%) patients could not be classified. The most common primary headaches were tension-type headache (TTN) (n=177, 37.7%) and migraine (n=111, 23.6%). The 86 (70.5%) of the patients with secondary headache were diagnosed with sinusitis. Abnormal neurological examination finding was determined in 8 (1.7%) patients. Brain MR was performed in 439 (93.4%) of all patients and abnormal brain MR findings were detected in 52 (11.8%) patients. EEG was performed in 205 (43.6%) of all patients and abnormal EEG findings were detected in 24 (11.7%) patients.

Conclusion: According to age groups, headache was most common in the 12-17 age group. The most common causes of headache were TTN and migraine, respectively. The most common secondary headache cause was sinusitis. We think that physical and neurological examination still maintains its priority in determining the causes of headache.

Keywords: Headache; migraine; pediatric; tension type headache.