The management of headaches in the emergency department: critical issues.Neurol Sci. 2006 Mar; 27 Suppl 1:S59-61.NS
Typical cases of the most common kinds of headache can be diagnosed and treated by general practitioners (GPs). Non-traumatic patients with de novo acute sudden-onset disabling headaches as well as significant worsening of pre-existing headaches seek care at emergency departments (EDs) and represent a diagnostic challenge for the consultant neurologist, who is the specialist of reference for the entire diagnostic process. Explicit diagnostic criteria for the classification of headache disorders (ICHD-II) are fundamental for verifying the final diagnosis, but in the emergency setting diagnostic and therapeutic guidelines and recommendations, coupled with lists of diagnostic alarms and warnings, may further contribute to the preliminary identification of secondary headaches.