Cardiac cephalgia: A treatable form of exertional headache

Richard B. Lipton, T. Lowenkopf, Z. H. Bajwa, R. S. Leckie, S. Ribeiro, L. C. Newman, M. A. Greenberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

84 Scopus citations


We report two patients with exertional headaches beginning with vigorous exercise and relieved by rest. Neurologic evaluation and neuroimaging were normal in both. During exercise stress testing, the onset of the patients' typical headaches correlated with ECG changes indicative of myocardial ischemia. In both patients coronary angiography revealed three-vessel disease, and myocardial revascularization procedures were followed by complete resolution of headaches. Based on these patients, and a review of prior similar reports, we conclude that myocardial ischemia is a rare and treatable cause of exertional headache. Accurate diagnosis is critical to controlling headaches and preventing myocardial infarction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)813-816
Number of pages4
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1997


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology

Cite this

Lipton, R. B., Lowenkopf, T., Bajwa, Z. H., Leckie, R. S., Ribeiro, S., Newman, L. C., & Greenberg, M. A. (1997). Cardiac cephalgia: A treatable form of exertional headache. Neurology, 49(3), 813-816.