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North Carolina Comprehensive Headache Clinic - Raleigh, NC

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Our Facility

Map & Directions

North Carolina Comprehensive
Headache Clinic

2501 Atrium Drive, Suite 400
Raleigh, NC 27607
Phone: (919) 781-7423

Office Hours:
Monday - Thursday: 8am to 4pm

About Diagnostic Testing

Diagnostic TestingWe feel that diagnostic testing should be done only where indicated, and always should be guided by clinical reasoning. Random testing without clinical headache experience may be misleading.

Some tests are occasionally requested:

  1. MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) is performed by placing the body in a magnetic field and detecting changes which are assembled by a computer into an image. There are many different ways to perform an MRI. The study must be specified as to area of coverage, including cranial MR imaging, temporal bone imaging, pituitary imaging, cervical spine imaging, MR angiography of the neck or brain, or cerebral venous angiography.  Sometimes, the pulse sequence, the way the picture is assembled, and whether contrast agents are used may be significant.
  2. Transesophageal echocardiography may rarely be needed to diagnose patent foramen ovale, a common heart condition which has been associated with certain types of headache.
  3. A Sleep Study is occasionally requested in patients with morning headache and excessive daytime sleepiness.
  4. A Tilt Table Test is sometimes requested when headache is accompanied by episodes of loss of consciousness or symptoms of low blood pressure.
  5. A Carotid Ultrasound is frequently requested when headache is associated with visual loss or stroke-like symptoms, and prior to use of triptans and similar medications in older age groups.
  6. Special Lab Tests when appropriate may include a sedimentation rate, tests for lupus and other inflammatory disorders, thyroid horomone levels, antithyroid antibody tests, reproductive hormone levels (estrogen, progesterone, testosterone), pituitary hormone levels (prolactin and growth hormone), coagulation studies, and sometimes screens for infection and celiac disease.