Migraine and vertigo—a prospective diary study

Sabine Salhofer, Doris Lieba-Samal, Elisabeth Freydl, Sigrid Bartl, Gerald Wiest, Christian Wöber
Cephalalgia: An International Journal of Headache 2010, 30 (7): 821-8
The objective of the study was to examine migrainous vertigo prospectively by means of a diary. We included 146 patients with at least one migraine attack per month. All patients underwent a semistructured interview, completed questionnaires on depression, anxiety and quality of sleep and kept a diary covering detailed information on headache, vertigo and dizziness over a period of 30 days. A completed diary was returned by 116 patients (79.5%). Based on the diary migrainous vertigo (MV) was diagnosed in 18 patients (15.5%) and non-migrainous vertigo or dizziness (non-MV) in 35 patients (30.2%). MV was present on 65 of 3477 patient days (1.9%) and non-MV on 145 days (4.2%). MV occurred more often on days with headache (P < 0.001). Its median duration was 3 h and it lasted longer on days with headache than on days without headache (P < 0.001). The most prominent specific feature of MV was head motion intolerance. Patients with MV showed anxiety more often (P < 0.001) and tended to have worse quality of sleep and higher depression scores. In conclusion, vertigo and dizziness are frequent symptoms in migraineurs. The 1-month prevalence of MV is 16% and that of non-MV 30% in patients with at least one migraine attack per month. Frequency of MV is higher and duration longer on days with headache. MV is a risk factor for co-morbid anxiety.

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