Frontiers in Neurology, vol.13, 2023 (SCI-Expanded)
Copyright © 2023 Atalar, Özge, Türk, Ekizoğlu, Kurt Gök, Baykan, Ayta, Erdoğan, Yeni, Taşdelen, IDEM Study Group and Velioğlu.Background: Migraine without aura (MwoA) is a very frequent and remarkable comorbidity in patients with idiopathic/genetic epilepsy (I/GE). Frequently in clinical practice, diagnosis of MwoA may be challenging despite the guidance of current diagnostic criteria of the International Classification of Headache Disorders 3 (ICHD-3). In this study, we aimed to disclose the diagnostic gaps in the diagnosis of comorbid MwoA, using a zone concept, in patients with I/GEs with headaches who were diagnosed by an experienced headache expert. Methods: In this multicenter study including 809 consecutive patients with a diagnosis of I/GE with or without headache, 163 patients who were diagnosed by an experienced headache expert as having a comorbid MwoA were reevaluated. Eligible patients were divided into three subgroups, namely, full diagnosis, zone I, and zone II according to their status of fulfilling the ICHD-3 criteria. A Classification and Regression Tree (CART) analysis was performed to bring out the meaningful predictors when evaluating patients with I/GEs for MwoA comorbidity, using the variables that were significant in the univariate analysis. Results: Longer headache duration (<4 h) followed by throbbing pain, higher visual analog scale (VAS) scores, increase of pain by physical activity, nausea/vomiting, and photophobia and/or phonophobia are the main distinguishing clinical characteristics of comorbid MwoA in patients with I/GE, for being classified in the full diagnosis group. Despite being not a part of the main ICHD-3 criteria, the presence of associated symptoms mainly osmophobia and also vertigo/dizziness had the distinguishing capability of being classified into zone subgroups. The most common epilepsy syndromes fulfilling full diagnosis criteria (n = 62) in the CART analysis were 48.39% Juvenile myoclonic epilepsy followed by 25.81% epilepsy with generalized tonic-clonic seizures alone. Conclusion: Longer headache duration, throbbing pain, increase of pain by physical activity, photophobia and/or phonophobia, presence of vertigo/dizziness, osmophobia, and higher VAS scores are the main supportive associated factors when applying the ICHD-3 criteria for the comorbid MwoA diagnosis in patients with I/GEs. Evaluating these characteristics could be helpful to close the diagnostic gaps in everyday clinical practice and fasten the diagnostic process of comorbid MwoA in patients with I/GEs.