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Pain Research and Management
Volume 20 (2015), Issue 1, Pages e1-e7
Original Article

Grey Zones in the Diagnosis of Adult Migraine without Aura Based on the International Classification of Headache Disorders-Iii Beta: Exploring the Covariates of Possible Migraine without Aura

Aynur Ozge,1 Elif Aydinlar,2 and Bahar Tasdelen1

1Department of Neurology, Mersin University School of Medicine, Mersin, Turkey
2Acibadem University School of Medicine, Istanbul, Turkey

Copyright © 2015 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. 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.


BACKGROUND: Exploring clinical characteristics and migraine covariates may be useful in the diagnosis of migraine without aura.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the diagnostic value of the International Classification of Headache Disorders (ICHD)-III beta-based diagnosis of migraine without aura; to explore the covariates of possible migraine without aura using an analysis of grey zones in this area; and, finally, to make suggestions for the final version of the ICHD-III.

METHODS: A total of 1365 patients (mean [± SD] age 38.5±10.4 years, 82.8% female) diagnosed with migraine without aura according to the criteria of the ICHD-III beta were included in the present tertiary care-based retrospective study. Patients meeting all of the criteria of the ICHD-III beta were classified as having full migraine without aura, while those who did not meet one, two or ≥3 of the diagnostic criteria were classified as zones I, II and III, respectively. The diagnostic value of the clinical characteristics and covariates of migraine were determined.

RESULTS: Full migraine without aura was evident in 25.7% of the migraineurs. A higher likelihood of zone I classification was shown for an attack lasting 4 h to 72 h (OR 1.560; P=0.002), with pulsating quality (OR 4.096; P<0.001), concomitant nausea/vomiting (OR 2.300; P<0.001) and photophobia/phonophobia (OR 4.865; P<0.001). The first-rank determinants for full migraine without aura were sleep irregularities (OR 1.596; P=0.005) and periodic vomiting (OR 1.464; P=0.026). However, even if not mentioned in ICHD-III beta, the authors determined that motion sickness, abdominal pain or infantile colic attacks in childhood, associated dizziness and osmophobia have important diagnostic value.

CONCLUSIONS: In cases that do not fulfill all of the diagnostic criteria although they are largely consistent with the characteristics of migraine in clinical terms, the authors believe that a history of infantile colic; periodic vomiting (but not periodic vomiting syndrome); recurrent abdominal pain; the presence of motion sickness or vertigo, dizziness or osmophobia accompanying the pain; and comorbid atopic disorder are characteristics that should to be discussed and considered as additional diagnostic criteria (covariates) in the preparation of the final version of ICHD-III.