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February 11, 1956


JAMA. 1956;160(6):468-469. doi:10.1001/jama.1956.02960410044011

Histaminic cephalalgia is a distinct clinical entity that usually begins in the later decades of life.1 It is characterized by a unilateral headache of short duration generally lasting less than an hour; it commences and often terminates suddenly. It tends to awaken the patient at night one to two hours after he has gone to sleep, and the severity of the pain makes the patient get out of bed and pace the floor. At its height the pain is associated with watering and congestion of the eye, rhinorrhea or stuffiness of the nostril, sweating, and, often, visible dilatation of the temporal vessels of the involved side of the head. Once observed in its full-blown form, the clinical picture will never be forgotten.

Constant, excruciating, burning, and boring pain is the outstanding complaint. It involves the orbital area and the temple and may extend to the upper jaw, occipital region,