Open Access

Application of ICHD 2nd edition criteria for primary headaches with the aid of a computerised, structured medical record for the specialist

  • P. Sarchielli1Email author,
  • M. Pedini1,
  • A. Alberti1,
  • A. Baldi1,
  • I. Corbelli1 and
  • P. Calabresi1
The Journal of Headache and Pain20056:186

DOI: 10.1007/s10194-005-0186-x

Published: 20 July 2005

Abstract

We tested the computerised, structured medical record by entering and analysing the consecutive clinical sheets of primary headaches in the episodic forms (200) and chronic headache (200) and the corresponding output diagnoses of patients attending our Headache Centre. A diagnosis of one of the primary headache forms was obtained in 67.9% of cases. A certain diagnosis of primary headache plus that of a probable form was obtained in 24.4% of cases (12.7% represented by chronic migraine (CM) or chronic tension–type headache (CTTH)+probable medicationoveruse headache). Only probable forms were diagnosed in the remaining 7.3% (as single probable diagnosis in 5.8% of cases or multiple diagnoses of probable forms in the remaining ones). The percentage of certain diagnoses mainly in the chronic headache group (28.4%), and to a lesser extent tension–type headache (6.5%), were obtained in 34.9% of cases. A certain diagnosis of one chronic form plus that of a probable form was obtained in 50.8% of cases (26.9% represented by probable medication–overuse headache). Only probable forms were diagnosed in 13.46% (as single probable diagnosis in 8.73% of cases or multiple diagnoses of probable forms in the remaining ones). In the other cases, the ICHD–II classification does not allow the diagnoses of CM, CTTH or probable forms and medicationoveruse headache because the mandatory criteria for the diagnoses are too stringent and do not reflect modifications of the headache pattern in relation to its chronicity. These preliminary results underscore the usefulness of a computerised device based on the ICHD 2nd edition for diagnostic purposes in tertiary centres dedicated to headaches in clinical practice as well as its relevance for research. This computerised device may help to validate the new diagnostic criteria and to answer some emerging questions from the application of the new classification version, the relevance of which should be verified in clinical practice.

Key words

ICHD 2nd edition Classification criteria Primary headaches Computerised clinical sheet