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Cluster Headache: Differential Diagnosis Essay

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Pathophysiology

The pathophysiology of cluster headache is complex and cannot be identified precisely; however, the most popular theories describe such states as abnormal functioning of hypothalamus, vascular dilation, circadian effects, trigeminal nerve stimulation, and histamine release that may bring about unilateral temporal and periorbital pain that continues up to 2 hours (Dunphy, Winland-Brown, Porter, & Thomas, 2015).

Symptoms and Signs

Pain on one side of the head (burning, sharp or steady), pain around one eye, red or swollen eyes, tearing, rhinorrhea or stuffy nose, burning face.

Lab and Diagnostic Tests

Neurological examination is required to assess brain function, reflexes, and senses. In complicated cases, CT scan (using X-rays to make cross-sectional pictures of the brain) and MRI may be recommended (Dunphy et al., 2015).

References

Adnot, S. (2014). Cell senescence and pathophysiology of chronic lung diseases: Role in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Bulletin de l’Academie nationale de medecine, 198(4-5), 659-671.

Dunphy, L. M., Winland-Brown, J. E., Porter, B. O., & Thomas, D. J. (2015). Primary care: The art and science of advanced practice nursing. Philadelphia, PA: F.A. Davis Company.

Gould, B. E., VanMeter, K. C., & Hubert, R. J. (2014). Pathophysiology for the health professions. St. Louis, MO: Elsevier Saunders.

Hollier, A. (2016). Clinical guidelines in primary care (2d ed.). Scott, LA: APEA.

McCance, K. L., & Huether, S. E. (2015). Pathophysiology: The biologic basis for disease in adults and children. Amsterdam, Netherlands: Elsevier Health Sciences.

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IvyPanda. 2020. "Cluster Headache: Differential Diagnosis." July 31, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/cluster-headache-differential-diagnosis/.

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IvyPanda. (2020) 'Cluster Headache: Differential Diagnosis'. 31 July.

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