[en] Contingent negative variation (CNV), an event-related slow cerebral potential, was analyzed in 79 consecutive headache patients. Compared to normal controls (n = 33), CNV did not differ in tension headache (n = 21) or in combined headaches with a predominant tension component (n = 13). The mean amplitude of CNV was significantly (p less than 0.001) increased in migraine (n = 29) as well as in combined headache with predominant migraine (n = 16). All migraineurs were studied between attacks and without prophylactic treatment. CNV may be a useful diagnostic test in headache. Its increased amplitude in migraine might reflect central catecholaminergic hyperactivity.