Table 3

Brain imaging strategies for headache patients

CT, computed tomography; MA/MO, migraine with/without aura; MOH, medication overuse headache, MRI, magnetic resonance imaging; TTH, tension type headache.
Mandatory imaging:
First, worst, thunderclap headacheCT (emergency)
Exertional, cough or valsalva headacheMRI
Headache + signs suggesting brain lesionMRI or CT
Headache + known malignancyMRI or CT with contrast
Optional imaging:
New headache in older personMRI or CT
Headache, not MO, MA, TTH, MOH or clusterMRI or CT