Headache attributed to ingestion or inhalation of a cold stimulus: a review

Publicado na 3ª edição de 2009

Introduction: Headache attributed to ingestion or inhalation of cold stimulus is quite common and it is recognized by the International Headache Society, being provoked by exposition to cold stimulus or ingestion of icy food. Physiopathological mechanisms involved in its genesis are not completely known yet. Association between this type of headache with migraine suggests that vascular alterations with involvement of the trigeminal nerve, and partial defects in pain control mechanism are the physiopathological mechanisms shared by these clinical entities. Objective: The objective of this study has been to review literature and describe characteristics of headache attributed to ingestion or inhalation of cold stimulus, as well as its prevalence, association with other types of headache and study methodology used in other articles about this subject. Method: Our research was accomplished through Pubmed data base, by using key words: "ice cream headache, ice cream headache, ice cream headache [and] migraine, ice stimulus [and] pain"; 15 articles were found until July, 2009. Results: Migraine headache was the most studied and correlated to headache attributed to ingestion or inhalation of cold stimulus. Its prevalence is quite varied (7.6% – 93%), probably because of methodological differences. Only four articles of the 15 studied used cold substances (ice, icecream and cold water) to evoke headache. Conclusion: Headache attributed to ingestion or inhalation of cold stimulus is frequent with predominance in migrainous patients.


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