A7.6.3 Post-electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) headache

Diagnostic criteria:
  1. Recurrent headache fulfilling criterion C
  2. A course of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) has been given
  3. Evidence of causation demonstrated by all of the following:
    1. headache has developed after ≥50% of ECT sessions
    2. each headache has developed within 4 hours after ECT
    3. each headache has resolved within 72 hours after ECT
  4. Not better accounted for by another ICHD-3 diagnosis.

Clear descriptions of headache associated with electroconvulsive therapy are sparse. In a single-blind comparator trial of eletriptan and paracetamol, 20 of 72 patients (28%) complained of headaches, but these were not well characterized (only location and quality of pain were assessed).

Published data are not adequate to define A7.6.3 Post-electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) headache operationally and there have been no validation studies of these proposed criteria since ICHD-3 beta was published.