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Medline ® Abstract for Reference 64

of 'Cervicogenic headache'

Radiofrequency denervation of facet joints C2-C6 in cervicogenic headache: a randomized, double-blind, sham-controlled study.
Stovner LJ, Kolstad F, Helde G
Cephalalgia. 2004;24(10):821.
Cervicogenic headache is still a controversial disease entity, and good and reliable treatment is lacking. In the present randomized, sham-controlled, patient- and evaluator-blinded study, 12 patients with a disabling, long-standing and treatment-resistant strictly unilateral cervicogenic headache were included. The diagnosis was based on purely clinical criteria. Six were randomized to receive radiofrequency neurotomy of facet joints C2-C6 ipsilateral to the pain, and six were randomized to sham treatment. Patients were followed for 2 years with diary registration of pain for 14-days periods after 1, 3, 6, 12, 18 and 24 months, and also followed with algometry and neck mobility measurements at 3, 12 and 24 months. Side-effects were minor and short-lasting, and those patients who were treated with neurotomy were somewhat improved at 3 months, but later there were no marked differences between the groups. In conclusion, the procedure is probably not beneficial in cervicogenic headache.
Norwegian National Headache Centre, Department of Clinical Neurosciences, Trondheim University Hospital. lars.stovner@medisin.ntnu.no