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Curr Pain Headache Rep. 2008 Aug;12(4):285-91.

Ophthalmoplegic migraine: still a diagnostic dilemma?

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The Headache and Migraine Clinic, Jaslok Hospital and Research Centre, Lilavati Hospital and Research Centre; A-64, Kalpataru Residency, Sion, Mumbai - 400 022, India.


The term ophthalmoplegic migraine (OM) was first coined by Charcot in 1890. This condition was included as a migraine variant in the first Headache Classification of the International Headache Society in 1988. Based on postcontrast enhancement seen on MRI in some patients who were diagnosed with OM, there was a suggestion that this could be an inflammatory/demyelinating disorder; therefore, it was moved out of the "migraine" group and repositioned as a "neuralgia" in the revised 2004 classification. However, there have been subsequent reports in the literature in which there was no enhancement on postcontrast MRI. Based on a survey of literature on OM in the post-imaging era, this article highlights the fact that enhancement on magnetic resonance is not a sine qua non for the diagnosis of OM. Some diagnostic dilemmas are discussed, and a protocol is included for documentation of clinical findings in future case reports on a prospective basis. Hopefully, this will help in modification of the criteria, better understanding the etiology, correct diagnosis, and determining appropriate treatment for OM.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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