New headache, or a significant worsening of a pre-existing headache, caused by intracranial hypertension secondary to hydrocephalus and accompanied by other symptoms and/or clinical signs of increased cerebrospinal fluid pressure or hydrocephalus.

Diagnostic criteria:
  1. New headache, or a significant worsening1 of a pre-existing headache, fulfilling criteria for 7.1 Headache attributed to increased cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) pressure and criterion C below
  2. Intracranial hypertension has been attributed to hydrocephalus
  3. Evidence of causation demonstrated by either or both of the following:
    1. headache developed or significantly worsened1 in temporal relation to development or worsening of the increased CSF pressure, or led to its discovery
    2. either or both of the following:
      • a) headache has significantly worsened in parallel with worsening of the hydrocephalus
      • b) headache has significantly improved in parallel with improvement in the hydrocephalus
  4. Not better accounted for by another ICHD-3 diagnosis.

”Significant worsening” implies a two-fold or greater increase in frequency and/or severity in accordance with the general rule on distinguishing secondary from primary headache.


Normal-pressure hydrocephalus usually does not cause headache; occasionally, mild dull headache is reported.