REVIEW – May 2013

Vestibular migraine

Authors: Liis Sabre, Mark Braschinsky

Articles PDF


Vestibular migraine presents with attacks of spontaneous or positional vertigo lasting seconds to days. During a vertigo attack headache is often missing. On the other hand, migrainous symptoms such as photophobia or auras may occur during the attack.

Like in the case of a migraine attack, provocative features can be stressful events, sleep deprivation and changes in the hormonal system. The pathophysiology of vestibular migraine is still unclear. The treatment consists of vestibular suppressants for acute attacks and prophylactic medication if episodes of vertigo are short and frequent.

The Committee for Classif ication of Vestibular Disorders of the Barany Society and the Migraine Classification Subcommittee of the International Headache Society have approved diagnostic criteria for vestibular migraine. These criteria will be included in the third edition of the International Classification of Headache Disorders.