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Table 1 Differential diagnoses for sudden onset headache [2, 4]

From: Subarachnoid hemorrhage in the emergency department

• Subarachnoid hemorrhage (aneurysmal, arteriovenous malformation, traumatic, perimesencephalic, unknown etiology)
• Meningitis/encephalitis
• Temporal arteritis/complicated migraine
• Cluster headache
• Reversible cerebral vasoconstriction syndrome
• Acute narrow-angle closure glaucoma
• Hypertensive emergencies
• Acute strokes: hemorrhagic or ischemic
• Carbon monoxide poisoning
• Idiopathic intracranial hypertension (pseudotumor cerebri)
• Spontaneous intracranial hypotension
• Cerebral venous and dural sinus thrombosis
• Mass lesions
• Cervico-cranial artery dissections
• Pituitary apoplexy