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Audiometric Findings of Patients with Migraine-Associated Dizziness

Battista, Robert A.

Medical Neurotology

Objective: The objective of this study was to determine whether the audiometric findings of migraine-associated dizziness could be used to better distinguish migraine-associated dizziness from Ménière’s disease.

Study Design: A retrospective chart review.

Setting: Tertiary, otology/neurotology practice.

Patients: Two groups of patients were studied, a migraine-associated dizziness and a Ménière’s disease group. There were 76 and 34 patients in the migraine-associated dizziness and Ménière’s disease groups, respectively.

Interventions: None.

Main Outcome Measures: Initial and follow-up pure-tone average and low-frequency pure-tone average were recorded for both groups. Independent samples t tests were used to test for mean differences in pure-tone average and low-frequency pure-tone average.

Results: Pure-tone average and low-frequency pure-tone average were significantly worse for patients in the Ménière’s disease group at both the initial and follow-up assessments. Three patients in the migraine-associated dizziness group had an elevated pure-tone average (≥26 dB) and/or low-frequency pure-tone average at initial and/or follow-up assessment. The remaining 73 migraine-associated dizziness patients had normal hearing. In the Ménière’s disease group, only two patients had a normal pure-tone average and low-frequency pure-tone average at both initial and follow-up evaluations. The hearing difference between the two groups was significant even when controlling for age and duration of dizziness symptoms.

Conclusion: Audiometric findings of patients with migraine-associated dizziness are most often normal. Unlike Ménière’s disease, the sensorineural hearing loss in migraine-associated dizziness rarely progresses. These audiometric findings may help to distinguish migraine-associated dizziness from Ménière’s disease when diagnostic ambiguity exists between these two diagnoses.

Department of Clinical Otolaryngology, Northwestern University, Chicago, Illinois, U.S.A.

Address correspondence and reprint requests to Robert A. Battista, M.D., Chicago Otology Group, LLC, 950 North York Road, Suite 102, Hinsdale, IL 60521-8608, U.S.A.; E-mail: robert_battista@rush.edu

© 2004 Otology & Neurotology, Inc.