Clinical features of new daily persistent headache: A retrospective chart review of 328 cases

Randolph W. Evans, Dana P. Turner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Objective: To describe the clinical features of new daily persistent headache (NDPH) at an outpatient neurology clinic with a subspecialty interest in headache in Houston, Texas. Methods: A retrospective chart review was performed by a neurologist subspecialty certified in headache medicine of all patients seen from September 1, 2011 through February 28, 2020 (8.5 years) with a provisional diagnosis of NDPH and abstracted charts meeting criteria for primary NDPH. Results: A total of 328 patients met the International Classification of Headache Disorders, 3rd edition criteria including 215 (65.5%) female patients. The mean age of onset was 40.3 years (range 12–87 years) with a mean age at first consultation in the study clinic of 42.6 years (range 12–87 years). The median [25th, 75th] duration of NDPH at initial consultation was 0.7 [0.3, 2.0] years, and at last visit, it was 1.9 [0.7, 4.8] years. The headaches were side-locked unilateral in 28/328 (8.5%). 12/328 cases (3.6%) with a thunderclap onset are reported. There was no obvious seasonal or other cyclical variation. The pain was usually moderate to severe and more often severe for the migraine phenotype (MP; 260/328 [79.3%] of cases) than for the tension-type phenotype (TTP). Precipitating factors were the following: stressful life events, 67/328 (20.4%); upper respiratory infection or flu-like illness, 33/328 (10.1%); and extracranial surgery, 5/328 (1.5%). Exacerbating or aggravating factors similar to migraine triggers were more often reported with the MP than with the TTP in this sample. For the MP, vertigo or dizziness was reported by 19/260 (7.3%) and a visual aura by 21/260 (8.1%) with descriptions provided. The prognostic types were the following for all patients: persisting (refractory), 305/328 (93.0%); relapsing–remitting, 9/328 (2.7%); and remitting (self-limited), 14/328 (4.3%). Conclusion: NDPH is typically of moderate to severe intensity often with migraine features without obvious seasonal or other cyclical variation. Most cases are refractory. 3.6% have a thunderclap onset often with a good response to treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1529-1538
Number of pages10
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 1 2021


  • migraine
  • new daily persistent headache
  • tension-type headache
  • thunderclap headache

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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