IHS Criteria for Migraine and Tension-Type Headache in Children and Adolescents


Address all correspondence to Dr. Cicek Wöber-Bingöl, Univ Klinik für Neuropsychiatrie, des Kindes-und Jugendalters. Währinger Gürtel 18-20, A-1090 Wien, Austria.


We investigated the influence of age on the IHS criteria for migraine and tension-type headache in 437 consecutive children and adolescents and found the following age-associated statistically significant differences: migraine duration, occurrence of migraine aura, and bilateral location of tension-type headache were more often fulfilled by adolescents, whereas aggravation of headache by physical activity (in migrainous disorder) and photophobia (in migraine with aura) were more often fulfilled by children, Accordingly, there are only a few, differences concerning the fulfillment of the IHS criteria for migraine and tension-type headache in children and adolescents. Independent of age, the intensity of headache and the presence or absence of nausea are most important for differentiating the two major types of idiopathic headache. The sensitivity of the IHS criteria for migraine could be increased by reducing the minimum duration of migraine and by allowing the diagnosis of migraine when severe headache is associated with nausea, even though the criteria of location, quality, and aggravation by physical activity are not fulfilled.