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Nontraumatic headache in the Emergency Department: a survey in the province of Trieste

Abstract

The objective was to study the demographics, diagnostic procedures and therapies employed in order to provide guidelines to Emergency Department (ED) physicians. A six–month retrospective analysis of the records of all patients presenting with nontraumatic headache (NTH) to the EDs of the Province of Trieste was performed. Of 38,238 patients screened, 300 (0.8%) presented with NTH and 49.7% were referred to specialists. Patients were classified as having secondary headache (41.3%), primary headache (24.3%) and headache with no obvious source (NOS) (34.4%). One hundred and seventy patients were treated with mono– or polytherapy. Of 50 patients with migraine, 36 were treated with NSAIDs and 4 with triptans. 68.4% of patients were referred to a general practitioner and 31.6% were admitted. The frequency of NTH was lower than in other studies. NOS headache was frequent. Only 10% of migraineurs received triptans. Diagnostic and therapeutic guidelines for ED physicians are needed.

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Correspondence to A. Granato.

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Relja, G., Granato, A., Capozzoli, F. et al. Nontraumatic headache in the Emergency Department: a survey in the province of Trieste. J Headache Pain 6, 298–300 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10194-005-0213-y

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Key words

  • Nontraumatic headache
  • Emergency department
  • Treatment