Headache is a common complaint in pediatric patients presenting to the emergency department. Diagnosis of life-threatening pathology can be difficult due to the nonspecific symptoms for many of these conditions. Emergency clinicians must have a high index of suspicion, obtain a detailed history, and conduct a thorough physical examination to accurately identify life-threatening causes of headache. This issue reviews the general approach, differential diagnosis, and initial workup and management of the most common dangerous causes of secondary headaches in pediatric patients.
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Following are the most informative references cited in this paper, as determined by the authors.
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Keywords: headache, pediatric headache, primary headache, secondary headache, life-threatening headache, vascular etiologies of headache, intracranial infections, hemorrhagic headache, intracerebral hemorrhage, intracranial pressure, stoke, childhood stroke, pediatric stroke, ischemic stroke, posterior reversible encephalopathy syndrome, PRES, extracranial infections, Pott puffy tumor, cerebral venous thrombosis, CVT, space-occupying lesions, idiopathic intracranial hypertension
Sarah Chen, MD; Aarti Gaglani, MD; Michael J. Stoner, MD
Sujit Iyer, MD, FAAP; Emily Rose, MD, FAAP, FACEP
May 1, 2023
May 1, 2026   CME Information
4 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits™, 4 ACEP Category I Credits, 4 AAP Prescribed Credits, 4 AOA Category 2-A or 2-B Credits. Specialty CME Credits: Included as part of the 4 credits, this CME activity is eligible for 1 Stroke CME credit and 1 Pharmacology CME credit, subject to your state and institutional approval.