Unifying Concepts

ICHD-II Diagnostic Criteria for Cluster Headache

Cluster headache

A. At least 5 attacks fulfilling criteria B-D

B. Severe or very severe unilateral orbital, supraorbital and/or temporal pain lasting 15-180 minutes if untreated

C. Headache is accompanied by at least 1 of the following:

  1. Ipsilateral conjunctival injection and/or lacrimation
  2. Ipsilateral nasal congestion and/or rhinorrhoea
  3. Ipsilateral eyelid oedema
  4. Ipsilateral forehead and facial sweating
  5. Ipsilateral miosis and/or ptosis
  6. A sense of restlessness or agitation

D. Attacks have a frequency from 1 every other day to 8/day

E. Not attributed to another disorder

Episodic cluster headache

A. Attacks fulfilling criteria A-E for “Cluster headache”

B. At least two cluster periods lasting 7-365 days and separated by pain-free remission periods of >/=1 month

Chronic cluster headache

A. Attacks fulfilling criteria A-E for “Cluster headache”

B. Attacks recur over >1 year without remission periods or with remission periods lasting <1 month


  1. International Headache Society. The International Classification of Headache Disorders, 2nd Edition. Cephalalgia 2004; 24 (suppl 1): 1-160 (

This material was taken from the International Classification of Headache Disorders. It is intended for educational purposes only.


Created: Jun 13, 2005

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