To analyze headache patterns prior to and following treatment of unruptured intracranial aneurysms and identify factors associated with different headache outcomes.
A prospective observational study of patients being treated for unruptured intracranial aneurysms. Headache patterns were established prior to aneurysm treatment and for 6 months following treatment. Factors associated with different headache outcomes were investigated.
In all patients (n = 44), 90-day headache frequency decreased from an average of 31 days prior to aneurysm treatment to 17 days following treatment (p < 0.001). In patients with active pretreatment headaches (n = 28), 90-day headache frequency decreased from 49 days to 26 days (p = 0.002). Headache frequency was reduced in 68% of patients, while 9% of patients had new or worsened headaches following aneurysm treatment. Pretreatment migraine, more severe pretreatment headaches, higher pretreatment trait anxiety, and stent-assisted aneurysm coiling were associated with a lack of headache improvement.
The majority of patients with headaches at the time of aneurysm treatment had reductions in headache frequency during the 6 months following treatment. Potential risk factors for poor headache outcomes were identified but need to be studied further.