Tuesday, January 13, 2009


(DOI 10.1007/s10194-008-0089-8)

Ophthalmoplegic migraine (OM) as recurrent attacks of headache with migrainous characteristics, associated with paresis of one or more ocular cranial nerves (commonly the third cranial nerve), and in the absence of any demonstrable intracranial lesion . It is diagnosed when at least two attacks with migraine-like headaches are accompanied with, or followed within 4 days of onset by, paresis of one or more of the third, fourth or sixth cranial nerves. Parasellar, orbital fissure and posterior fossa lesions should be ruled out by appropriate investigations.

The headache often lasts for a week or more and there is a latent period of up to 4 days from the onset of headache to the onset of ophthalmoplegia. The condition may be a recurrent demyelinating neuropathy. In general, patients demonstrated a: (1) prolonged time for symptom resolution to occur (median time 3 weeks); (2) tendency for recurrent episodes to have more severe and persistent nerve involvement; (3) evidence of permanent neurological sequelae with recurrent episodes (30% of patients); (4) rapid improvement and shortened duration with corticosteroid therapy and; (5) transient, reversible MRI contrast enhancement of the affected cranial nerve (86% of patients).

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