Indomethacin-Responsive Headache Disorders

Continuum (Minneap Minn). 2024 Apr 1;30(2):488-497. doi: 10.1212/CON.0000000000001409.


OBJECTIVE: This article describes the clinical features and treatment of the indomethacin-responsive headache disorders paroxysmal hemicrania and hemicrania continua.

LATEST DEVELOPMENTS: Both paroxysmal hemicrania and hemicrania continua are treated with indomethacin at the lowest clinically useful dose. It has recently become clear that some patients with either condition may respond to treatment with noninvasive vagus nerve stimulation, which can be both indomethacin sparing and, in some cases, headache controlling. Given the lifelong nature of both paroxysmal hemicrania and hemicrania continua, brain imaging with MRI is recommended when the conditions are identified, specifically including pituitary views.

ESSENTIAL POINTS: Paroxysmal hemicrania and hemicrania continua are indomethacin-responsive headache disorders that offer a rewarding and unique opportunity to provide marked clinical improvement when recognized and treated appropriately. These disorders share the final common pathway of the trigeminal-autonomic reflex, with head pain and cranial autonomic features, and are differentiated pathophysiologically by the pattern of brain involvement, which can be seen using functional imaging. They have distinct differential diagnoses to which the clinician needs to remain alert.

PMID:38568495 | DOI:10.1212/CON.0000000000001409