The Journal of Headache and Pain

Official Journal of the "European Headache Federation" and of "Lifting The Burden - The Global Campaign against Headache"

The Journal of Headache and Pain Cover Image

Volume 15 Supplement 1

Abstracts from the 4th European Headache and Migraine Trust International Congress: EHMTIC 2014

Open Access

EHMTI-0156. Quantitative sensory testing in patients with headache attributed by idiopathic intracranial hypertension – a case-control study

  • H Yri1,
  • S Munksgaard1,
  • L Bendtsen1 and
  • R Jensen1
The Journal of Headache and Pain201415(Suppl 1):C65

Published: 18 September 2014


Pain ThresholdIntracranial HypertensionCentral SensitizationPain PerceptionPain Sensitivity


In patients with idiopathic intracranial hypertension (IIH) headache often persist as a disabling symptom even after intracranial pressure (ICP) has normalized. Yet very little is known about the mechanisms of chronification.


To explore pain perception in patients with IIH in a controlled design at time of diagnosis and after 3 months of treatment.

Materials and methods

We explored pain perception in patients with newly diagnosed IIH by Quantitative Sensory Testing (QST) measuring cephalic and extra-cephalic supra-threshold pain ratings and pain thresholds for pressure and electrical stimulation. QST was performed at diagnosis and after one and three months. ICP was measured at baseline and at the 3-month follow-up. QST measurements from sex-matched controls were used for comparisons. Headache was assessed by monthly standardized interviews and headache diaries.


At baseline IIH patients (n=28) showed no consistent abnormalities in pain sensitivity or thresholds (p>0.09 for all comparisons to healthy controls (n=28). Although headache improved markedly and ICP normalized in 52%, there was no consistent change in pain sensitivity from baseline to follow-up (p>0.09 for all variables). Patients with (54%) and without persistent chronic headache (46%) 3 months after diagnosis showed no different pain perception either at baseline or at the 3-month follow-up.


Although headache persisted as a chronic symptom in half of the patients we found no evidence of increased central pain sensitivity suggesting that headache chronification in IIH is caused by mechanisms other than central sensitization.

Authors’ Affiliations

Danish Headache Center, Neurology, Copenhagen, Denmark


© Yri et al; licensee Springer. 2014

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.