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Headaches and Sinus Disease


  • Harvey J. Blumenthal MD

    1. From Neurological Associates of Tulsa, Inc, Saint Francis Hospital, and the Department of Neurology, University of Oklahoma, College of Medicine, Tulsa.
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Address all correspondence to Dr. Harvey J. Blumenthal, Neurological Associates of Tulsa, Inc, 312 Kelly Professional Building, 6565 South Yale Avenue, Tulsa, OK 74136-8304.


Modern diagnostic tools like fiberoptic nasal endoscopy and CT imaging of the sinuses are very sensitive in helping clinicians diagnose sinus disease; we may now reevaluate the symptoms and signs most useful in making a clinical diagnosis of rhinosinusitis. Two major systems of classification and diagnostic criteria relating headaches and sinus disease have achieved currency—that of the International Headache Society (IHS) (1988) and the more recent task force recommendations of the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery (AAO-HNS) (1997). This report compares and contrasts the different starting points, certain assumptions, and conflicting conclusions of these two classification systems and recommends a cooperative alliance of the IHS and AAO-HNS when these diagnostic criteria are revised.