How is migraine-associated vertigo diagnosed?

Updated: Jun 17, 2021
  • Author: Aaron G Benson, MD; Chief Editor: Arlen D Meyers, MD, MBA  more...
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No diagnostic tests exist for migraine-associated vertigo. As with any type of dizziness evaluation, the history is the most important means to diagnose this condition. [1, 22, 23] When the history is unclear, the diagnosis is made by a therapeutic response to treatment.

A definite diagnosis of migraine-associated vertigo can be made when patients have migraine with aura that is accompanied by concurrent episodes of vertigo or when they have migraine without aura that is repeatedly associated with vertigo immediately before or during the headache.

A probable diagnosis of migraine-associated vestibulopathy is suggested when patients experience recurrent or continuous vertigo or dizziness sensations without neurologic symptoms, when the dizziness is not time-locked to headache, when a past or family history of migraine headaches exists, and when the dizziness cannot be fully explained by other vestibular disorders. In these patients, a trial of migraine therapy can be started for diagnostic and therapeutic purposes.

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