Conflict of Interest: No disclosures.
Brief Sharp Stabs of Head Pain and Giant Cell Arteritis
Article first published online: 18 JUN 2010
© 2010 American Headache Society
Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain
Volume 50, Issue 9, pages 1516–1519, October 2010
How to Cite
Rozen, T. D. (2010), Brief Sharp Stabs of Head Pain and Giant Cell Arteritis. Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain, 50: 1516–1519. doi: 10.1111/j.1526-4610.2010.01718.x
- Issue published online: 18 JUN 2010
- Article first published online: 18 JUN 2010
- Accepted for publication April 29, 2010.
- stabbing headache;
- giant cell arteritis;
Giant cell arteritis (GCA) should be considered in the differential diagnosis of any new onset headache occurring in individuals over the age of 50 years. Headache is the most common complaint in GCA patients but the clinical characteristics of the headache itself does not help in making a diagnosis as the headache can occur anywhere on the head, not just the temples, be mild to severe in intensity and be dull to throbbing in quality. As other things can cause new onset headache in older individuals, additional clinical symptoms or signs that may suggest GCA as a diagnosis would be useful to clinicians. Two cases are presented that suggests that new onset stabbing headache associated with a new daily persistent headache is a possible diagnostic sign for a diagnosis of GCA. Nothing in the literature to date has mentioned new onset stabbing headache as part of the presenting symptom complex for GCA.