What is the role of neuroimaging in the evaluation of migraine headaches?

Updated: Oct 21, 2019
  • Author: Jasvinder Chawla, MD, MBA; Chief Editor: Helmi L Lutsep, MD  more...
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Neuroimaging is not necessary in patients with a history of recurrent migraine headaches and a normal neurologic examination. Neuroimaging is indicated for any of the following: [79]

  • First or worst severe headache

  • Change in the pattern of previous migraine

  • Abnormal neurologic examination

  • Onset of migraine after age 50 years

  • New onset of headache in an immunocompromised patient (eg, one with cancer or HIV infection)

  • Headache with fever

  • Migraine and epilepsy

  • New daily, persistent headache

  • Escalation of headache frequency/intensity in the absence of medication overuse headache

  • Posteriorly located headaches (especially in children, but also in adults)

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