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Papers of the Week


J Pain Res


A Review of Current Perspectives on Facial Presentations of Primary Headaches.


Peng K-P, Benoliel R, May A
J Pain Res. 2022; 15:1613-1621.
PMID: 35685300.


Orofacial pain (OFP) has recently been classified and subdivided into a number of groups, similar to headache disorders in the International Classification of Headache Disorders (ICHD). A novel group of OFP has been established whose major feature is that they resemble primary headache disorders occurring in the V2 or V3 dermatomes. These follow the clinical criteria and associated symptoms of the eponymous headache syndromes. Following the recent International Classification of Orofacial Pain (ICOP), three types are differentiated: Headache which spread into the face (type 1), facial pain which replaced headache but maintained the same characteristics and associated symptoms of the former headache (type 2), and de-novo orofacial pain that resembles primary headache types without any involvement of the ophthalmic trigeminal branch (type 3). The epidemiology is unclear: type 1 and 2 are not exactly common, they certainly exist in a notable proportion of headache patients, whereas type 3 may be rather rare. Since effective treatment options are available, it is important for clinicians to recognize such syndromes early to avoid misdiagnosis and unnecessary treatment, which most of these patients still experience. This review gives an up-to-date summary of diagnosis, pathophysiology and treatment of attack-like non-dental facial pain disorders.