Cluster Headache FAQs (cont.)
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What tests are done for people with cluster headaches?
Doctors reach a diagnosis of cluster headache entirely on the basis of the signs (what doctors find on examination) and symptoms (what patients report) of the condition. Rarely, the signs and symptoms caused by tumors or other masses mimic those of cluster headaches. In these uncertain cases, doctors will order a CT scan or MRI (which shows images of the inside of the body).
Sometimes, a lumbar puncture (spinal tap) is needed. This procedure may help confirm if an individual's cluster headaches are caused by an infection or by bleeding in or around the brain.
These tests are necessary, because people with the following medical problems can have signs and symptoms that may be mistaken for those of cluster headaches:
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 7/22/2014
Edward Lubin, MD, PhD
Joseph Carcione Jr, DO, MBA
Francisco Talavera, PharmD, PhD
James H Halsey, MD
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