Vestibular migraine: An update on current understanding and future directions

Tzu Chou Huang, Shuu Jiun Wang*, Amir Kheradmand

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

83 Scopus citations


Background: Vestibular migraine is among the most common causes of recurrent vertigo in the general population. Despite its prevalence and high impact on healthcare cost and utilization, it has remained an under-recognized condition with largely unknown pathophysiology. In the present article, we aim to provide an overview of the current understanding of vestibular migraine. Methods: We undertook a narrative literature review on the epidemiology, presentations, clinical and laboratory findings, pathophysiology, and treatments of vestibular migraine. Results: Currently, the diagnosis of vestibular migraine relies solely on clinical symptoms since clinical tests of vestibular function are typically normal, or difficult to interpret based on inconsistent results reported in earlier studies. The challenges related to diagnosis of vestibular migraine lie in its relatively broad spectrum of manifestations, the absence of typical migraine headaches with vestibular symptoms, and its very recent definition as a distinct entity. Here, we highlight these challenges, discuss common vestibular symptoms and clinical presentations in vestibular migraine, and review the current aspects of its clinical diagnosis and evaluation. The concepts related to the pathophysiology and treatment of vestibular migraine are also discussed. Conclusion: Vestibular migraine is still underdiagnosed clinically. Future studies are needed to address the pathophysiological mechanisms and investigate effective treatment regimens.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)107-121
Number of pages15
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020


  • dizziness
  • headache
  • migraine
  • vertigo
  • vestibular
  • Vestibular migraine


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