Headache: Tests and Diagnosis

What tests are used to diagnose headaches?

In general, headaches do not require any blood work or brain imaging. Depending on your child's headache symptoms, the following diagnostic tests may be requested by your primary care provider or neurologist at Children's Hospital Colorado:

  • Brain MRI
  • Lumbar puncture
  • Electroencephalogram (EEG)
  • Ophthalmology evaluation

How do doctors at Children's Colorado make a diagnosis?

The diagnosis of a headache is usually based on your child’s medical history and a physical examination. Extra testing is rarely needed.

At Children’s Colorado, headache diagnosis relies on using the International Classification of Headache Disorders criteria for headache types.