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Rhinogenic Headache

Standardization of Terminologies Used for Headaches Arising From Problems in the Nose and Nasal Cavity

Yi, Hyung Suk, MD*; Kwak, Chan Yee, MD*; Kim, Hong Il, MD, PhD*; Kim, Hyo Young, MD*; Han, Daniel Seungyoul, MD, PhD

doi: 10.1097/SCS.0000000000004942
Clinical Studies

Objective: The use of different expressions between physicians frequently results in confusion in the process of diagnosis and treatment of patients with headaches due to problems in the nose and nasal cavity. The aim of this study was to assess the terminologies that have been used most frequently to standardize these terminologies.

Methods: Terminologies that are most frequently used in general, including rhinogenic migraine, sinus headache, rhinogenic contact point headache, middle turbinate headache syndrome, and rhinogenic headache, were found by searching PubMed, Web of Science, and Google Scholar. These terminologies were objectively assessed on the basis of existing research and definitions and the range of diagnoses by organizations with public credibility.

Results: There were many terminologies in use for headache related to nose; however, these were not logical expressions and only partly explained the phenomenon. Among the terms, “rhinogenic headache” was most appropriate in expressing and describing the related symptoms.

Conclusion: The results indicated that the term “rhinogenic headache” is most appropriate for describing pain in the nose and eyes in patients with deformation within the nose or the nasal cavity due to external injuries or underlying diseases related to nose as observed on computed tomography.

*Department of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery, Kosin University College of Medicine

DH Plastic Surgery Clinic, Busan, Korea.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Daniel Seungyoul Han, MD, PhD, DH Plastic Surgery Clinic (5–8th floor), 21, Gaya-daero 784 beon-gil, Busanjin-gu, Busan, Republic of Korea; E-mail:

Received 26 May, 2018

Accepted 12 July, 2018

The authors report no conflicts of interest.

© 2018 by Mutaz B. Habal, MD.