Prevalence and Clinical Characteristics of Headaches in PHACE Syndrome

Yu, J.; Siegel, D. H.; Drolet, B. A.; Blei, F.; Epstein, L. G.; Metry, D.; Heyer, G. L.

J Child Neurol. 2015 Aug 15; 31(4):468-73

Abstract

PHACE (posterior fossa brain malformation, hemangiomas, arterial anomalies, coarctation of the aorta and cardiac defects, and eye abnormalities) syndrome is a neurocutaneous disorder often involving the cerebral vasculature. PHACE patients appear to have early-onset and severe headaches more commonly than children without PHACE. The objective of this study was to characterize the clinical features and prevalence of headache by conducting a cross-sectional survey of families in 2 large PHACE registries. Sixty-six percent of eligible families completed the survey in which 62.7% of respondents reported headaches. Average age of headache onset was 48.8 months. Females were more likely to have headaches (68.6% vs 30.8%, P = .014). Families reported associated migrainous features including nausea (62.5%), vomiting (37.5%), photophobia (75%), and phonophobia (75%). Headaches occurred at least weekly in 29.4%, lasted >/=1 hour in 85.4%, and led to >/=1 hospital admission in 15.7%. Three respondents with headaches had at least 1 ischemic stroke. We demonstrated that headaches are common among PHACE patients, develop at an early age, and have migrainous features.

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