Vestibular migraine--validity of clinical diagnostic criteria.

Department of Neurology, Charité, Augustenburger Platz 1, Berlin, Germany.
Cephalalgia (Impact Factor: 4.12). 06/2011; 31(8):906-13. DOI: 10.1177/0333102411405228
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Clinical recognition of vestibular migraine (VM) is still hampered by the lack of consensus diagnostic criteria. The aim of this study is a long-term evaluation of clinical criteria for definite (dVM) and probable (pVM) vestibular migraine.
We re-assessed 75 patients (67 women, age 24-76 years) with dVM (n=47) or pVM (n=28) according to previously published criteria after a mean follow-up of 8.75±1.3 years. Assessment included a comprehensive neurotological clinical examination, pure tone audiometry and caloric testing.
dVM was confirmed in 40 of 47 patients with a prior diagnosis of dVM (85%). Fourteen of 28 patients initially classified as pVM met criteria for dVM (50%), nine for pVM (32%). Six additional patients with dVM and two with pVM had developed mild sensorineural hearing loss, formally fulfilling criteria for bilateral Menière's disease (MD), but had clinical features atypical of MD. Seven of these also met criteria for dVM at follow-up. The initial diagnosis was completely revised for four patients.
Although VM diagnosis lacks a gold standard for evaluation of diagnostic criteria, repeated comprehensive neurotological evaluation after a long follow-up period indicates not only high reliability but also high validity of presented clinical criteria (positive predictive value 85%). Half of patients with pVM evolve to meet criteria for dVM. However, in a subgroup of VM patients with hearing loss, criteria for dVM and MD are not sufficiently discriminative.

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    ABSTRACT: Menière's disease and vestibular migraine (VM) are the most common causes of spontaneous recurrent vertigo. The current diagnostic criteria for the two disorders are mainly based on patients' symptoms, and no biological marker is available. When applying these criteria, an overlap of the two disorders is occasionally observed in clinical practice. Therefore, the present prospective multicenter study aimed to identify accompanying symptoms that may help to differentiate between MD, VM, and probable vestibular migraine (pVM). Two hundred and sixty-eight patients were included in the study (MD: n = 119, VM: n = 84, pVM: n = 65). Patients with MD suffered mainly from accompanying auditory symptoms (tinnitus, fullness of ear, and hearing loss), while accompanying migraine symptoms (migraine-type headache, photo-/phonophobia, visual aura), anxiety, and palpitations were more common during attacks of VM. However, it has to be noted that a subset of MD patients also experienced (migraine-type) headache during the attacks. On the other hand, some VM/pVM patients reported accompanying auditory symptoms. The female/male ratio was statistically higher in VM/pVM as compared to MD, while the age of onset was significantly lower in the former two. The frequency of migraine-type headache was significantly higher in VM as compared to both pVM and MD. Accompanying headache of any type was observed in declining order in VM, pVM, and MD. In conclusion, the present study confirms a considerable overlap of symptoms in MD, VM, and pVM. In particular, we could not identify any highly specific symptom for one of the three entities. It is rather the combination of symptoms that should guide diagnostic reasoning. The identification of common symptom patterns in VM and MD may help to refine future diagnostic criteria for the two disorders.
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