A clinical interview versus prospective headache diaries in the diagnosis of menstrual migraine without aura

Cephalalgia. 2015 Apr;35(5):410-6. doi: 10.1177/0333102414545891. Epub 2014 Aug 20.


Objectives: The objective of this article is to compare the diagnosis of menstrual migraine without aura (MM) from a clinical interview with prospective headache diaries in a population-based study.

Material and methods: A total of 237 women with self-reported migraine in at least half of menstruations were interviewed by a neurologist about headache and diagnosed according to the International Classification of Headache Disorders II (ICHD II). Additionally, the MM criteria were expanded to include other types of migraine related to menstruation. Subsequently, all women were asked to complete three month prospective headache diaries.

Results: A total of 123 (52%) women completed both clinical interview and diaries. Thirty-eight women were excluded from the analyses: Two had incomplete diaries and 36 women recorded ≤1 menstruation, leaving 85 diaries eligible for analysis. Sensitivity, specificity, positive and negative predictive value and Kappa for the diagnosis of MM in clinical interview vs. headache diary were 82%, 83%, 90%, 71% and 0.62 (95% CI 0.45-0.79). Using a broader definition of MM, Kappa was 0.64 (95% CI 0.47-0.83).

Conclusion: A thorough clinical interview is valid for the diagnosis of MM. When this is undertaken, prospective headache diaries should not be mandatory to diagnose MM but may be necessary to exclude a chance association.

Keywords: Menstrual migraine; classification; headache diary; menstruation; migraine with aura; migraine without aura.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interviews as Topic*
  • Medical Records*
  • Menstruation Disturbances / complications
  • Menstruation Disturbances / diagnosis*
  • Migraine without Aura / diagnosis*
  • Self Report*
  • Sensitivity and Specificity