To determine patient characteristics and effectiveness of therapy for migraine-associated dizziness.
Retrospective chart review.
Tertiary referral center.
Patients were identified through a code query of billing records for the diagnosis of migraine-associated vertigo or disequilibrium, based on the International Headache Society criteria. There were 81 patients (61 women, 20 men) with an average age of 36.6 years (range, 8–71 yr); all except four patients were evaluated between 1995 and 1999. Follow-up was obtained from chart review. Mean follow-up time was 54.5 weeks, with a range of 4 to 456 weeks.
One or more treatment methods, including dietary manipulation, medication (tricyclic antidepressants, beta-blockers or calcium-channel blockers), and neurology consultation, were applied sequentially as necessary.
Main Outcome Measure
Response to therapy was defined as greater than 75% reduction in symptom recurrence rate.
Overall, 72% of patients experienced resolution or dramatic reduction of their attacks of vertigo or disequilibrium. Of the 13 patients treated with the introduction of dietary manipulation alone, 100% received significant relief. Of the 31 patients treated with dietary manipulation and the addition of a medication, 77% of these patients had significant relief. Of the final group of 37 patients treated with another medication or a neurology consultation, 57% received substantial relief. Of the responders, the majority (>95%) experienced an equal reduction in both vertigo or disequilibrium and headache symptoms. Interestingly, 100% of the patients in the migraine without active headache group received substantial relief of their vertigo or disequilibrium symptoms with migraine therapy.
We conclude that there is effective therapy for the common problem of migraine-associated dizziness.