Ophthalmoplegic migraine: From questions to answers

Paolo Ambrosetto, Francesca Nicolini, Matteo Zoli, Luigi Cirillo, Paola Feraco, Antonella Bacci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: The International Classification of Headache Disorders classifies ophthalmoplegic migraine (OM) under "cranial neuralgias and central causes of facial pain." OM is diagnosed when all the following criteria are satisfied: A. At least two attacks fulfilling criterion B. B. Migraine-like headache accompanied or followed within four days of its onset by paresis of one or more of the III, IV and/or VI cranial nerves. C. Parasellar orbital fissure and posterior fossa lesions ruled out by appropriate investigations. In children the syndrome is rare and magnetic resonance (MR) shows strongly enhancing thickened nerve at the root entry zone (REZ). Method: The authors review the literature focusing on pathogenesis theories. Results: The authors suggest that ischemic reversible breakdown of the blood-nerve barrier is the most probable cause of OM and to include MR findings in the hallmarks of the disease. Conclusion: OM is the same disease in adulthood and childhood, even if in adults the MR imaging findings are negative. In the authors' opinion, OM should be classified as migraine.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)914-919
Number of pages6
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Oct 12 2014


  • Cranial nerve palsy
  • Headache
  • Neuroradiology
  • Ophthalmoplegic migraine
  • Pediatric

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


Dive into the research topics of 'Ophthalmoplegic migraine: From questions to answers'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this