, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 467-473,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 05 May 2011

Post-infectious headache: a reactive headache?

Abstract

Post-infectious disease syndrome includes both neurological and non-neurological disorders. However, headache as an isolated or a presenting complaint of post-infectious illness has not been well acknowledged in the literature. In this retrospective observation, patients having daily headache of more than 1 week and <4 weeks duration were included. We divided this group into patients having headache with preceding history of febrile illness in the recent past and patients without such history of febrile illness. We compared clinical features and therapeutic responses of various drugs between the groups. There were no significant differences in demographic features in these groups. However, associated neck pain, nausea, photophobia and meningeal signs were more prevalent in patients having history of preceding infection. A relatively lower proportion of subjects showed complete response to drugs at 3 months in post-infectious group. Good responses were noted to steroids in post-infectious group. In conclusion, a subset of patients with daily headache may be because of post-infectious pathology and treatment in the early stage may prevent it from becoming chronic. Large prospective studies are required to confirm these observations.