Occipital and craniocervical pain and brain MRI in children with migraine

Tal Eidlitz-Markus*, Avraham Zeharia, Yishai Haimi-Cohen, Osnat Konen

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Background Both cervical and occipital pain has been reported in pediatric patients with migraine. There are no descriptions of anatomical changes on conventional brain magnetic resonance imaging that can explain the pathophysiology of headache with cervical and occipital pain in this age group. Our aim was to evaluate the frequency of cervical and occipital pain in children and adolescents with migraine as opposed to other types of headache and to seek corresponding anatomic abnormalities on brain magnetic resonance imaging. Methods The cohort included 194 patients with headache attending the ambulatory headache clinic of a pediatric tertiary medical center. Data were collected by medical file review and revision of conventional magnetic resonance scans. Results Patients were divided into two groups: migraine headache (n = 125) and other types of headache (n = 69). Occipital pain was reported by 16.4% of the patients and cervical pain by 4.1%; neither type of pain was characteristic of migraine headache in particular. Brain magnetic resonance imaging did not show any anatomic changes specific to migraine or other headache types, regardless of the presence of occipital or cervical pain. Conclusions Occipital and cervical pain are not characteristic symptoms of any headache group in the pediatric age group, and their presence or absence does not correspond to changes on conventional brain magnetic resonance imaging.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)347-352
Number of pages6
JournalPediatric Neurology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2014


  • brain magnetic resonance imaging
  • children
  • craniocervical pain
  • occipital pain


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