Association of benign recurrent vertigo and migraine in 208 patients

Y. H. Cha, H. Lee, L. S. Santell, R. W. Baloh

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83 Scopus citations


The aim of this study was to determine the association of benign recurrent vertigo (BRV) and migraine, using standardized questionnaire-based interview of 208 patients with BRV recruited through a University Neurotology clinic. Of 208 patients with BRV, 180 (87%) met the International Classification of Headache Disorders 2004 criteria for migraine: 112 migraine with aura (62%) and 68 without aura (38%). Twenty-eight (13%) did not meet criteria for migraine. Among patients with migraine, 70% experienced headache, one or more auras, photophobia, or auditory symptoms with some or all of their vertigo attacks, meeting the criteria for definite migrainous vertigo. Thirty per cent never experienced migraine symptoms concurrent with vertigo attacks. These met criteria for probable migrainous vertigo. Among patients without migraine, 21% experienced either photophobia or auditory symptoms with some or all of their vertigo attacks; 79% experienced only isolated vertigo. The age of onset and duration of vertigo attacks did not differ significantly between patients with (34 ± 1.2 years) and patients without migraine (31 ± 3.0 years). In patients with migraine, the age of onset of migraine headache preceded the onset of vertigo attacks by an average of 14 years and aura preceded vertigo by 8 years. The most frequent duration of vertigo attacks was between 1 h and 1 day. Benign recurrent vertigo is highly associated with migraine, but a high proportion of patients with BRV and migraine never have migraine symptoms during their vertigo attacks. Other features such as age of onset and duration of vertigo are similar between patients with or without migraine.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)550-555
Number of pages6
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 2009
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by NIH grant P50 DC 05224 from the NIDCD, NIH grant 5 U54 RR019482, and the Clinical Research Training Fellowship from the American Academy of Neurology.


  • Aura
  • Migraine
  • Vertigo


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