2023 Mar;63(3):455-458.doi: 10.1111/head.14475. Epub 2023 Mar 10.

Geneviève DemarquayEmilie SalaAhmed AdhamJean-Philippe CamdessanchéPhilippe ConversLaure Mazzola


Background: Ictal epileptic headache (IEH) is caused by a focal epileptic seizure. The diagnosis can be challenging when the headache is isolated without any other symptoms.

Case report: A 16-year-old girl presented with a 5-year history of bilateral frontotemporal headaches with severe intensity lasting for 1-3 min. Past medical, physical, and developmental histories were unremarkable. Head magnetic resonance imaging showed right hippocampal sclerosis. The diagnosis of pure IEH was confirmed by video-electroencephalographic monitoring. The onset and cessation of frontal headache correlated with a right temporal discharge. The patient was diagnosed with right mesial temporal lobe epilepsy. Two years later, her seizures increased despite antiseizure medications. A right anterior temporal lobectomy was performed. The patient remained seizure-free and headache-free for 10 years.

Conclusion: IEH should be considered in the differential diagnosis of brief and isolated headache, even if the headache is diffuse or contralateral to the epileptogenic focus.

Keywords: epilepsy; headache; hippocampal sclerosis; ictal epileptic headache; migraine.

Frontal headache in a patient with right temporal epilepsy: A video-EEG case report of ictal epileptic headache