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Keywords:

  • Migraine;
  • headache;
  • classification;
  • osmophobia;
  • taste abnormalities

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This study evaluates osmophobia and taste abnormalities in relationship to sensitivity and specificity in the classification of migraine. Consecutive International Headache Society (IHS) classified patients (n = 1237) were evaluated. Symptoms were graded from 0 to 3. Osmophobia and taste abnormalities were tested for sensitivity and specificity in migraine diagnosis. The patients were 85.4% female and their mean age was 38.1 years. Of 673 patients 24.7% complained of osmophobia, and 24.6% of 505 complained of taste abnormalities. In the absence of nausea and vomiting the combinations of two symptoms gave the following sensitivity and specificity percentages, respectively: photophobia and phonophobia, 10.6 and 84.9; photophobia and osmophobia, 1.1 and 99.0; phonophobia and osmophobia, 1.1 and 98.6; photophobia and taste abnormality, 9.6 and 99.0; phonophobia and taste abnormality, 9.6 and 98.8; and osmophobia and taste abnormality, 4.2 and 99.4. Osmophobia and taste abnormalities were demonstrated to be very specific in diagnosing migraine IHS 1.1–1.6, but very insensitive.