How is migraine headache diagnosed?

Updated: Oct 21, 2019
  • Author: Jasvinder Chawla, MD, MBA; Chief Editor: Helmi L Lutsep, MD  more...
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Answer

The diagnosis of migraine is clinical in nature, based on criteria established by the International Headache Society. A full neurologic examination should be performed during the first visit, to exclude other disorders; the findings are usually normal in patients with migraine. Neuroimaging is not necessary in a typical case, but other diagnostic investigations may be indicated to guide management.

A screening tool called the ID-CM may be useful in diagnosis. The ID-CM is a 12-item screening tool for chronic migraine that has a sensitivity of 82% and a specificity of 87% compared with semi-structured clinical interviews. [6]


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