Outcomes of Greater Occipital Nerve Injections in Pediatric Patients With Chronic Primary Headache Disorders

Division of Child Neurology, University of California, San Francisco, San Francisco, California. Electronic address: .
Pediatric Neurology (Impact Factor: 1.7). 11/2013; 50(2). DOI: 10.1016/j.pediatrneurol.2013.09.008
Source: PubMed


Chronic migraine is common in pediatrics and generally disabling. In adults, infiltration of the area around the greater occipital nerve can provide short- to medium-term benefit in some patients. This study reports the efficacy of greater occipital nerve infiltrations in pediatric patients with chronic primary headache disorders.
Retrospective chart review of patients <18 years with a chronic primary headache disorder undergoing a first-time injection. Infiltrations were unilateral and consisted of a mixture of methylprednisolone acetate, adjusted for weight, and lidocaine 2%.
Forty-six patients were treated. Thirty-five (76%) had chronic migraine, 9 (20%) new daily persistent headache (NDPH), and 2 (4%) a chronic trigeminal autonomic cephalalgia. Medication overuse was present in 26%. Ages ranged from 7 to 17 years. Follow-up data were available for 40 (87%). Overall, 53% (21/40) benefitted, and 52% (11/21) benefitted significantly. Benefit onset ranged from 0 to 14 days, mean 4.7 (SD 4.3), with mean benefit duration of 5.4 (SD 4.9) weeks. In chronic migraine, 62% (18/29) benefitted, and 56% (10/18) significantly benefitted. In NDPH, 33% (3/9) benefitted; 33% (n = 1) significantly. Neither child with a chronic trigeminal autonomic cephalalgia benefitted. In logistic regression modeling, medication overuse, age, sex, and sensory change in the distribution of the infiltrated nerve did not predict outcome. There were no serious side effects.
Greater occipital nerve injections benefitted 53% of pediatric patients with chronic primary headache disorders. Efficacy appeared greater in chronic migraine than NDPH. Given the benign side effect profile, a greater occipital nerve infiltration seems appropriate before more aggressive approaches.

1 Follower
16 Reads
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Medication overuse is not uncommon among children and adolescents with primary headache disorders. Medication overuse in adults is associated with increased headache frequency and reduced effectiveness of acute and preventive medications. These issues probably exist in children. While withdrawal of overused medications is generally recommended, it may not result in improved headache frequency in all patients. This review summarizes what is known about predicting the response to medication withdrawal. Strategies for managing children and adolescents with medication overuse are also offered.
    Current Pain and Headache Reports 07/2014; 18(7):428. DOI:10.1007/s11916-014-0428-1 · 2.26 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Posttraumatic headache is one of the most common and disabling symptoms after traumatic brain injury. However, evidence for treating posttraumatic headache is sparse, especially in the pediatric literature. This retrospective chart review evaluated the use of occipital nerve blocks in adolescents treated for posttraumatic headache following mild traumatic brain injury, presenting to the Complex Concussion and Traumatic Brain Injury clinic. Fifteen patients (mean age 15.47; range: 13-17) received occipital nerve block for posttraumatic headache. Follow-up was obtained in 14 patients at 5.57 (standard deviation = 3.52) months postinjury. The headache burden was high, with all except one having headaches 15 or more days per month (median 30, range 10-30). Sixty-four percent reported long-term response to the occipital nerve blocks, with associated improved quality of life and decreased postconcussion symptom scores (P < .05). One patient reported transient allopecia. Occipital nerve blocks are well tolerated and can be helpful in posttraumatic headache. © The Author(s) 2014.
    Journal of Child Neurology 11/2014; 30(9). DOI:10.1177/0883073814553973 · 1.72 Impact Factor