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Acta Neurol Scand. 1990 Jan;81(1):54-60.

Ophthalmoplegic migraine: diagnostic criteria, incidence of hospitalization and possible etiology.

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Department of Neurology, Gentofte Hospital, University of Copenhagen, Hellerup, Denmark.


Charts from patients admitted from April 1976 to March 1986 to the departments of neurology, neurosurgery, ophthalmology and pediatrics serving a population of 615,000 inhabitants in Copenhagen County were surveyed. We then examined patients with coexisting headache and ophthalmoplegia at follow-up. Many diseases may mimic a single attack of ophthalmoplegic migraine. We found 4 cases of ophthalmoplegic migraine, i.e. an annual incidence of 0.7 per million inhabitants. We added another 4 cases from the same area, but diagnosed before or after the study period. Only in 2 of the 8 cases did the ophthalmoplegic episodes fulfil criteria for pain and associated symptoms required for migraine without aura (common migraine). In contrast, the clinical characteristics of the attacks are typical of the Tolosa-Hunt syndrome. When this inflammatory disease strikes a migraineur it is likely to elicit headache with migrainous features. We postulate that such cases have been diagnosed as ophthalmoplegic migraine, whereas the proper diagnosis of Tolosa-Hunt syndrome has been made in non-migraineurs.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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