Primary Exertional Headache: Updates in the Literature

Uncommon Headache Syndromes (J Ailani, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Uncommon Headache Syndromes


Primary exertional headache (PEH) has been recognized by the International Headache Society as a primary headache diagnosis since 1994. It is an uncommon, self-limited, and short-lasting disorder that is precipitated by exertion and is frequently comorbid with migraine. PEH shares a number of features with other headache disorders, including thunderclap headache, primary cough headache, and headache associated with sexual activity. Upon its initial occurrence, PEH requires a thorough neurologic evaluation and imaging studies to help eliminate possible underlying secondary causes, including subarachnoid hemorrhage and sentinel bleed. Although PEH is incompletely understood with regard to its epidemiology and pathophysiology, it is generally considered to be a benign disorder that is self-limited and responsive to trigger avoidance and indomethacin.


Exertional headache Cough headache Headache associated with sexual activity Indomethacin-responsive Migraine Thunderclap headache 


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of NeurologyMayo Clinic College of MedicineScottsdaleUSA

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