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IHS Diagnosis ICD-10
13.12 Constant pain caused by compression, irritation or distortion of cranial nerves or upper cervical roots by structural lesions [G53.8] + [code to specify aetiology] G44.848  


Constant headache or facial pain caused by a lesion directly compromising afferent fibres in nerves mediating pain sensation from the head and/or neck. Sensory deficit may be detected within the appropriate distribution.

Diagnostic criteria:

  1. Constant and/or jabbing pain in the territory supplied by a cranial sensory nerve, fulfilling criteria C and D
  2. Evidence of compression, irritation or distortion of the appropriate cranial nerve
  3. Pain and compression, irritation or distortion occur simultaneously and correspond in location
  4. Pain is relieved by removal of the cause of compression, irritation or distortion


Structural lesions may be space-occupying (eg, tumour or aneurysm) or contained within anatomical boundaries (eg, osteomyelitis of the cranial bones). If there is no sensory deficit or supporting imaging evidence, the diagnosis is doubtful.

Facial pain around the ear or temple may result from invasion of the vagus nerve by lung carcinoma.