Studies on man and lower animals have shown that the cranial blood vessels are pain-sensitive structures, capable under special circumstances of giving rise to headache.1 The distention of cerebral arteries is primarily responsible for the headache produced by certain chemical agents, of which histamine is representative;2 the headache associated with septicemia and fever is in the same category.3 It has been shown that the afferent fibers from the pain-sensitive cerebral arteries above the tentorium enter the brain stem primarily through the fifth cranial nerve, whereas the fibers from the arteries below the tentorium enter the nervous system chiefly through the upper cervical nerves.4 The distention of certain branches of the external carotid arteries is chiefly responsible for migraine headache and the headache associated with arterial hypertension.5
Thus, data about the great variety of headaches resulting from distention of cranial arteries are specific, but there is
RAY BS, WOLFF HG. EXPERIMENTAL STUDIES ON HEADACHE: PAIN-SENSITIVE STRUCTURES OF THE HEAD AND THEIR SIGNIFICANCE IN HEADACHE. Arch Surg. 1940;41(4):813–856. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1940.01210040002001
Coronavirus Resource Center
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.
Create a personal account or sign in to: