UMEM Educational Pearls

Category: Neurology

Title: Migraine Headache Diagnosis

Keywords: Migraine, Headache, Diagnostic Criteria (PubMed Search)

Posted: 7/29/2007 by Michael Bond, MD (Emailed: 7/30/2007) (Updated: 2/21/2020)
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Diagnostic Criteria for Migraine Headaches: * Migraine w/o aura- A. At least five headache attacks lasting 4 - 72 hours, with at least two of the four following characteristics: 1. Unilateral location. 2. Pulsating quality. 3. Moderate or severe intensity (inhibits or prohibits dailyactivities). 4. Aggravated by walking stairs or similar routine physical activity. B. During headache, at least one of the two following symptoms occur: 1. Phonophobia and photophobia. 2. Nausea and/or vomiting. * Migraine w/ aura (remember: aura is not always visual) - A. At least two attacks with at least three of the following: 1. One or more fully reversible aura symptoms indicating focal cerebralcortical and/or brain stem functions. 2. At least one aura symptom develops gradually over more than four minutes,or two or more symptoms occur insuccession. 3. No aura symptom lasts more than 60 minutes; if more than one aura symptomis present, accepted duration is proportionally increased. 4. Headache follows aura with free interval of at least 60 minutes (it mayalso simultaneously begin with the aura). B. At least one of the following aura features establishes a diagnosis ofmigraine with typical aura: 1. Homonymous visual disturbance. 2. Unilateral paresthesias and/or numbness. 3. Unilateral weakness. 4. Aphasia or unclassifiable speech difficulty. Headache 44(5):426-435, 2004. Headache classification committee of the IHS. Classification and diagnostic criteria for headache disorders, cranial neuralgias and facial pain. Cephalalgia 1988 8: 1-96.