Dušica Janković1, Milan Elenkov2, Miloš Milutinović 3
1 Emergency Medical Service Niš, 2 General Hospital Pirot,
3 Special Psychiatric Hospital “Gornja Toponica”
INTRODUCTION: Headache as a symptom can be caused by an extremely large number of clinical conditions. The importance of the right approach in the examination is of greatest importance, especially when the causes of headaches are life-threatening conditions.
SOURCE AND SELECTION OF AVAILABLE MATERIAL: Review of available professional literature through PuBMed, MedLine and available online journals using the terms: diagnosis, high risk headache, clinical presentation.
SYNTHESIS OF MATERIALS: In most cases, headaches are benign in their origin, and resolve spontaneously or with minor therapeutic measures. Imaging is not required for many types of headaches. However, for patients that we find out through anamnesis and clinical examination that they are in high risk group for secondary causes of headache, neuroimaging is necessary. High risk patients are those with head trauma, cancer, immunocompromised condition, 50 plus years of age, headaches related to activity or position, or with a corresponding neurological deficit and this list is not final.
CONCLUSION: The goal of treating headaches in prehospital settings and emergency centers is to timely identify high-risk secondary causes of headaches that can lead to life-threatening conditions. Knowledge of clinical forms and proper use of diagnostic modalities increases the success in recognizing these life-threatening conditions.
Keywords: high risk headache, clinical presentation, diagnosis.