Cephalalgia 2014 Jul 30: The influence of ictal cutaneous allodynia on the response to occipital transcutaneous electrical stimulation in chronic migraine and chronic tension-type headache: A randomized, sham-controlled study

Bono F, Salvino D, Mazza M, Curcio M, Trimboli M, Vescio B, Quattrone A.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:
The objective of this article is to determine whether cutaneous allodynia (CA) influences the response to treatment with occipital transcutaneous electrical stimulation (OTES) in chronic migraine (CM) and chronic tension-type headache (CTTH).

METHODS:
One hundred and sixty consecutive patients with CM or CTTH were randomized to be treated with real or sham OTES stimulation three times a day for two consecutive weeks. All patients completed the validated 12-item allodynia symptom checklist for assessing the presence and the severity of CA during headache attack. Primary end-point was change (≥50%) in number of monthly headache-free days.

RESULTS:
There was a significant difference in the percentage of responders in the real OTES compared with sham OTES group (p <0.001). Importantly, there was not a significant change of monthly headache-free days in the allodynic patients with CM and CTTH treated both with real and sham OTES, while the number of headache-free days per month was significantly reduced in the real (86%) but not in the sham group (7%) of non-allodynic patients with CTTH and CM.

CONCLUSIONS:
Severe CA is associated with decreased response to treatment with OTES in patients with CM and CTTH.

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25078717