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Key points

This guideline is recommended for the radiological investigation of patients presenting with headache.

CT is generally not indicated in suspected meningitis unless there are clinical signs which predict for abnormal radiological findings, such as: 

  • age >60 years
  • immunocompromised
  • history of CNS disorder
  • associated new onset seizures
  • mental state changes
  • focal neurological deficits.

If CT is required, blood cultures and antibiotics should not be delayed

The Emergency Care Clinical Network recommends using the Government of Western Australia Diagnostic Imaging Pathways for headache in adults

The image below is linked to an easy-to-follow pathway of care to guide investigations for emergency patients presenting with headache.

Download our patient fact sheets on migraine and tension headache below.

Flowchart providing guidance on the imaging of adult patients with recent onset headache

Patient fact sheets

Page last updated: 04 Jun 2019

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