Migraine and Meniere's Disease. Is there a link?

Migraine and Ménière’s disease

Is there a link?

1.       A. Radtke, MD, 

2.       T. Lempert, MD, 

3.       M.A. Gresty, PhD, 

4.       G.B. Brookes, FRCS, 

5.       A.M. Bronstein, MD PhD and 

6.       H. Neuhauser, MD MPH

Neurology December 10, 2002 vol. 59 no. 11 1700-1704

ABSTRACT

Background: A possible link between Ménière’s disease (MD) and migraine was originally suggested by Prosper Ménière. Subsequent studies of the prevalence of migraine in MD produced conflicting results.

Objective: To determine the lifetime prevalence of migraine in patients with MD compared to sex- and age-matched controls.

Methods: The authors studied 78 patients (40 women, 38 men; age range 29 to 81 years) with idiopathic unilateral or bilateral MD according to the criteria of the American Academy of Otolaryngology. Diagnosis of migraine with and without aura was made via telephone interviews according to the criteria of the International Headache Society. Additional information was obtained concerning the concurrence of vertigo and migrainous symptoms during Ménière attacks. The authors interviewed sex- and age-matched orthopedic patients (n = 78) as controls.

Results: The lifetime prevalence of migraine with and without aura was higher in the MD group (56%) compared to controls (25%; p < 0.001). Forty-five percent of the patients with MD always experienced at least one migrainous symptom (migrainous headache, photophobia, aura symptoms) with Ménière attacks.

Conclusions: The lifetime prevalence of migraine is increased in patients with MD when strict diagnostic criteria for both conditions are applied. The frequent occurrence of migrainous symptoms during Ménière attacks suggests a pathophysiologic link between the two diseases. Alternatively, because migraine itself is a frequent cause of audio-vestibular symptoms, current diagnostic criteria may not differentiate between MD and migrainous vertigo.