Migraine: An Alternative in the Diagnosis of Unclassified Vertigo


J.M. Aragones, M.D., Servicio de Neurofogía, Hospital Clinic i Provincial, Villaroel, 170, Barcelona 08036, Spain.



Vertigo and unsteadiness are frequent reasons for medical consultation. In some cases, these symptoms remain unclassified. The association of equilibrium disorders with migraine is often mentioned in literature.

Seventy-two cases of unclassified vertigo were studied in order to ascertain the prevalence of migraine in patients affected by recurring episodes of vertigo from undetermined causes, and attempting to establish a possible relationship with migraine. Characteristics of the vertigo and the headache, were evaluated by clinical history and examination, electronystagmogram (ENG), electroencephalogram (EEG), computerized tomography scanning (CT) and/or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). In the group of patients studied 50% suffered from headache, and 32.8% fulfilled the diagnostic criteria of migraine. Results suggest that only a thorough clinical history would be able to give enough information to establish the diagnosis of migraine in these patients.

These observations imply an alternative diagnosis to be taken into account when a case of unclassified vertigo is evaluated.