824 Headache As A Common Presenting Complaint To The Emergency Department Of Laiko University Hospital (Athens)

Marinos G, Siasos G, Chatzopoulou S, Papageorgiou E, Dritsas E, Katsakoulas J
Aim: To explore headache as a presenting complaint to the Emergency Department of the Laikon University Hospital in Athens.
Methods: We studied 769 patients who presented with headache to our Emergency Department during years 2008 and 2009. Subjects with symptoms in keeping with a concurrent upper respiratory tract infection were excluded. In 23% of the patients there was a past medical history of recurrent headache.
Results: From a demographic standpoint, 37% of the patients were males and 63% were females; their ages ranged from 14 to 87 years. The precise aetiology of their complaint in descending frequency was found to be as follows: Migraine (13%), episodic headache (41%), cervical spondylopathy related headache (16 %), subarachnoid haemorrhage (2.5%), tumour (2.5%), 6) sinusitis (15 %), headache of dental cause (4%), trigeminal neuralgia (6 %). Systemic symptoms commonly associated with headache were: scalp hypersensitivity (11%), cervical and shoulder girdle ache (17%), insomnia (9%), malaise (39%), anxiety (67%), suppressed appetite (23%), impaired alertness and ability to concentrate (51%), visual impairment (4%), nausea (9%), vomiting (9%), abdominal pain (3%), hemisensory loss or unilateral weakness (7%) and confused speech (6%). Laboratory investigations in delineating diagnosis comprised: imaging studies including head computed tomography (50%), peripheral blood testing (44%), magnetic resonance imaging (6%). 11.5% of the studied patients were admitted to hospital and 24% were followed up in the outpatient clinic.
Conclusions: Headache is a common cause of presentation to the Emergency Department of our Hospital. General Practitioner can easily manage a vast proportion of such cases by applying a set of basic investigations.
Headache as a common presenting complaint to the Emergency Department Of Laiko University Hospital (Athens)