The criterion for the remission period of chronic cluster headache (CCH) was recently revised from < 1 month to < 3 months in the third edition of the International Classification of Headache Disorders (ICHD-3). However, information on the clinical features of CCH based on the ICHD-3 criteria is currently limited. The present study aimed to investigate the clinical features of CCH based on ICHD-3 using data from the Korean Cluster Headache Registry (KCHR). The KCHR is a multicentre prospective registry of patients with cluster headache (CH) from 15 hospitals. Among the 250 participants with CH, 12 and 176 participants were classified as having CCH and episodic cluster headache (ECH), respectively. Among 12 participants with CCH, 6 (50%) had remission periods of < 1 month, and the remaining 6 (50%) had a remission period of 1–3 months. Six participants had CCH from the time of onset of CH, and in the other 6 participants, CCH evolved from ECH. CCH subjects had later age of onset of CH, developed the condition after a longer interval after CH onset, and had more migraine and less nasal congestion and/or rhinorrhoea than ECH subjects. Clinical features of CCH with remission periods < 1 month were not significantly different from those of CCH with remission periods of 1–3 months, except for the total number of bouts. More current smoking and less diurnal rhythmicity were observed in participants with CCH evolved from ECH compared to those with ECH. In conclusion, the number of subjects with CCH doubled when the revised ICHD-3 criteria were used. Most of clinical characteristics of CCH did not differ when the previous and current version of ICHD was applied and compared. Some clinical features of CCH were different from those of ECH, and smoking may have a role in CH chronification.
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