, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 51-56,
Open Access This content is freely available online to anyone, anywhere at any time.
Date: 16 Nov 2010

Update on Hemicrania Continua


Hemicrania continua (HC) is a rare primary headache syndrome, characterized by unilateral pain and an absolute response to indometacin. Since the term was first coined in 1984, more than 100 cases have been described worldwide. Most recently, detailed case series that provide more detailed information concerning the sometimes complex clinical presentation of HC have been reported. Functional imaging studies suggest a unique pattern of subcortical involvement in HC: contralateral to the pain posterior hypothalamic region, ipsilateral dorsal pons and ipsilateral ventral midbrain, which, along with the particular effect of indometacin, probably justifies its classification as a unique entity. Increasing the awareness of this primary headache form among clinicians will aid in its diagnosis while further work is being undertaken to characterize the syndrome.