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BioMed Research International
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 173165, 6 pages
Research Article

Frequency of Migraine as a Chief Complaint in Otolaryngology Outpatient Practice

1Department of Otolaryngology, Saad Specialist Hospital, Prince Faisal Bin Fahd Road, P.O. Box 3250, Alkhobar 31952, Saudi Arabia
2Clinical Research Laboratory, Saad Research and Development Centre, Saad Specialist Hospital, Prince Faisal Bin Fahd Road, P.O. Box 3250, Alkhobar 31952, Saudi Arabia

Received 10 August 2014; Revised 20 October 2014; Accepted 11 November 2014

Academic Editor: Vida Demarin

Copyright © 2015 Omar Sabra et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Objective. To identify the frequency of typical (headache and dizziness) and common atypical (ear fullness, pressure, pain, tinnitus, facial fullness, and nasal congestion) migraine symptoms as chief complaints among patients presenting to otolaryngology clinic. Methods. This is a descriptive study of prospectively collected data from a general otolaryngology practice. Typical migraine presentations were diagnosed by applying international headache society (IHS) criteria for migraine headache and Neuhauser’s criteria for migrainous vertigo. Atypical otologic and rhinologic migraine symptoms were diagnosed using individualized criteria. Charts were reviewed at 6-month interval from the first presentation. Results. Out of 1002 consecutive patients, 10.8% presented with “migrainous chief complaint.” All migrainous chief complaint patients had a history of headache but not all of them presented with headache. Corrected female to male ratio in the migraine group was 3 to 1; age distributions were significantly different between the migraine and nonmigraine groups by applying -test. Out of the atypical complaints, 86% of the patients had a history of concomitant typical presentation. Conclusion. Actual diagnostic criteria for migraine do not satisfy the diversity of its presentation. Investigating the history of migraine is enough to diagnose most atypical presentations. Sound knowledge about migraine seems essential for any ENT practitioner.