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Comparison of caloric reactivity between migraineurs and non-migraineurs

  • C A Foster (a1) and C K Pollard (a2)



To demonstrate that the elevated prevalence of migraine in patients with vertigo disorders is due to enhanced sensitivity to dizziness, which could cause migraineurs to seek more, or earlier, medical care for vertigo disorders, confounding the ability to show causation.


This case–control study investigated whether migraineurs perceive dizziness more intensely than non-migraineurs by comparing caloric responses in migraineurs, non-migraineurs and possible migraineurs. The summed caloric responses in the best responding ear were reviewed.


The migraine group had higher caloric response values, with a mean of 37.97 degrees per second, which was statistically significant when compared to the values for the possible migraine group (30.74 degrees per second (p < 0.05)) and the non-migraine group (30.70 degrees per second (p < 0.001)).


The findings suggest that migraineurs experience vestibular stimuli more intensely compared to non-migraineurs, which might explain the association of migraine with vestibular disorders in general.


Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Dr C A Foster, Department of Otolaryngology, University of Colorado School of Medicine, 12631 E. 17th Ave, B-205, Aurora, CO 80045, USA Fax: +1 303 724 1961 E-mail:


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