Skip to main content

Chronic cluster headache: a review


Cluster headache (CH) is a rare but severe headache disorder characterised by repeated unilateral head pain attacks accompanied by ipsilateral autonomic features. In episodic CH, there are periods of headache attacks with pain–free intervals of weeks, months or years in between. A minority of patients have the chronic form, without pain–free intervals between the headache attacks. Chronic CH can occur as primary or secondary chronic CH; the rarest form is episodic CH arising from chronic CH. In this article, we give a review of the chronic forms of CH and focus on demographics, clinical manifestations, social habits, predictive factors, head injury, genetics, neuroimaging and therapy. It is remarkable that little is known about risk factors that make CH chronic.

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to M. D. Ferrari.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Favier, I., Haan, J. & Ferrari, M.D. Chronic cluster headache: a review. J Headache Pain 6, 3–9 (2005).

Download citation

Key words

  • Chronic cluster headache
  • Review