Primary cough headache is associated with posterior fossa crowdedness: A morphometric MRI study

Yen Yu Chen, Jiing Feng Lirng, Jong Ling Fuh, Feng Chi Chang, Hui Cheng Cheng, Shuu Jiun Wang*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations


The aetiology of primary cough headache (PCH) is obscure. The aim of this study was to investigate the magnetic resonance (MR) morphometric characteristics of the posterior cranial fossa (PCF) in patients with PCH. Eighteen consecutive patients with PCH (14M/4F, mean age 75.1 ± 6.0 years) and 18 sex- and age-matched control subjects were recruited for study. Based on the midline sagittal MR images, parameters indicating posterior fossa crowdedness were measured. Compared with controls, patients with PCH had a similar size of hindbrain tissue area but a significantly smaller PCF area, resulting in a higher mean hindbrain/ PCF ratio (0.78 ± 0.04 vs. 0.73 ± 0.06, P = 0.005). In addition, these patients also had a lower position of the cerebellar tonsillar tip, a shorter clivus length and shorter distances from the clivus to the mid-pons and from the basion to the medulla than the control group. Patients with PCH were associated with a more crowded PCF, which might be a contributing factor for the pathogenesis of this headache syndrome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)694-699
Number of pages6
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2004


  • Benign cough headache
  • MRI
  • Oman malformation
  • Primary cough headache


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