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Hemicrania Continua: A Third Case in Which Attacks Alternate Sides


  • Lawrence C. Newman MD,

  • Roderick C. Spears MD,

  • Christine L. Lay MD

  • From the The Headache Institute, New York, NY (Drs. Newman, Spears, and Lay); Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Neurology, Bronx, NY (Drs. Newman and Lay); and Roosevelt Hospital Center, Neurology, New York, NY (Drs. Newman, Spears, and Lay).

Address all correspondence to Dr. Lawrence C. Newman, The Headache Institute, New York, NY.


Hemicrania continua (HC) is an uncommon, primary headache disorder characterized by a continuous unilateral headache of moderate intensity with superimposed exacerbations of more severe pain. HC exists in two temporal subtypes, a continuous form in which headaches persist continuously without remission periods, and a less common remitting form in which bouts of continuous headaches are separated by pain-free remissions. There have been more than 100 prior reports of HC; in the majority of which the headache is strictly unilateral and without side shift. We now report the third patient in whom headaches alternated sides during different attacks.