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Papers of the Week

Papers: 2 May 2020 - 8 May 2020

Human Studies


2020 May 06


Stabbing facial pain reminiscent of primary stabbing headache.


Ziegeler C, Daneshkhah S, May A
Cephalalgia. 2020 May 06:333102420923643.
PMID: 32375508.


Primary stabbing headache (PSH) is a transient and localized headache disorder. Facial variants of this rare pain syndrome have not been previously described. Four patients (n = 2 female, 2 male) presented themselves to our headache and facial pain outpatient clinic. They suffered daily from several dozen to several hundred short-lasting stabbing pain paroxysms primarily in the second and third trigeminal branches (V2 and V3) without lateral predominance. These non-neuralgic pain paroxysms did not strictly follow dermatomes, were not accompanied by trigeminal autonomic features and could not be triggered but occurred exclusively spontaneously. They did not fulfill any existing ICHD-3 criteria but appeared clinically to have similarities to primary stabbing headache syndromes. Indomethacin showed no efficacy. Exclusive facial variants of stabbing pain paroxysms should be classified as separate entities and tentatively be called stabbing facial pain.