Comparison of Interictal Vestibular Function in Vestibular Migraine vs Migraine Without Vertigo


  • Conflict of Interest: None.
  • Funding: This study received research support from the medical research fund Medisinsk forskningsfond i Agder “Sykehuset i våre hender” Sørlandet Hospital HF, Kristiansand and from the research department of Sørlandet Hospital HF, Kristiansand, Norway.

Address all correspondence to M. Boldingh, Svensenga 110, 0882 Oslo, Norway, email:



Patients with vestibular migraine (VM) suffer attacks of vertigo that often occur in isolation from headache attacks. We aimed to assess and compare vestibular function interictally in patients with VM and patients with migraine without vertigo (M).


Thirty-eight patients diagnosed with definite VM according to the Neuhauser criteria, and 32 patients diagnosed with M according to the International Headache Society criteria were examined between attacks using a broad battery of bedside vestibular tests, a caloric test, and videonystagmography.


Overall, 70% of the VM patients and 34% of the M patients showed abnormalities on one or more of the 14 performed vestibular tests (P = .006). Abnormal findings were more frequent in VM than in M patients on Romberg's test, test for voluntary fixation suppression of the vestibular ocular reflex and test for static positional nystagmus (P = .03, .01 and .04, respectively). There were no differences in the distribution of central and peripheral vestibular signs between VM and M patients.


Vestibular abnormalities were present interictally among both VM and M patients, but were found about twice as frequently among VM patients. This may indicate that subclinical vestibular dysfunction is an integral part of migraine pathology in general, and not solely in VM.