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Arquivos de Neuro-Psiquiatria

Print version ISSN 0004-282XOn-line version ISSN 1678-4227

Arq. Neuro-Psiquiatr. vol.61 no.2A São Paulo June 2003 



Tension type headache - clinical study (Abstract)*. Dissertation. Niterói, 2001.


André Palma da Cunha Matta**


Clinical aspects of 100 patients with tension type headache (TTH) were analised, 50 of them with episodic and 50 with chronic headache. The casuistry studied was made up of 40 women (80%) and 10 men (20%) with episodic TTH and 39 women (78%) and 11 men (22%) with chronic TTH. The average ages were 30 years in the episodic and 42 years in the chronic group. The diagnosis of TTH and its two clinical presentations was based on the Headache Classification Committe of The International Headache Society (1988).
With regard to clinical aspects, we noted that the constrictive type predominated (84% of the sample), but pulsating pain was found in a small group of patients (1% of the episodic TTH group and 10% of chronic).Nausea was the related phenomenon most commonly reported among those with episodic TTH (20%) and photophobia was among chronic TTH patients (28%). Although bilateral pain predominated, unilateral location was also present (10% of episodic and 8% of chronic TTH). We observed that TTH can come in intense crises (16% of episodic and 14% of chronic patients) and that the impact on work activities was substantial. The presence of symptoms of depression was important in both groups (32% of episodic TTH and 40% of chronic TTH). The presence of anxiety was also significant (60% of episodic TTH and 44 % of chronic TTH).
We concluded that the impact of TTH on the individual and society should be reconsidered and is more substantial than has been reported to date.

Key words: episodic tension type headache, chronic tension type headache, clinical aspects.


*Cefaléia do tipo tensional: estudo clínico (Resumo). Dissertação/tese de Mestrado, Universidade Federal Fluminense (Área: Neurologia). Orientador: Pedro Ferreira Moreira Filho
**Address: Rua Rabino Henrique Lemle 389 / 202, Recreio dos Bandeirantes, 22790-040 Rio de Janeiro RJ - Brasil. E-mail:

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