Operational diagnostic criteria for chronic migraine: Expert opinion

Stephen D. Silberstein, Richard B. Lipton, David W. Dodick

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Objective The prevalence, disability, progression, and treatment needs associated with chronic migraine (CM) mandate epidemiological, clinical, and basic research to better understand the clinical course of this disorder and to facilitate development of more effective therapies. Such efforts have been significantly impeded by lack of agreement within the headache specialist community of the most appropriate diagnostic criteria for CM. Methods This paper reviews the pertinent nosological literature and extensive field testing already performed. Results We recommend that the International Classification of Headache Disorders-3β criteria for CM be modified. We would remove the need for 5 prior migraine attacks and would replace "Headache considered by patient to be onset migraine and relieved by a triptan or an ergotamine derivative" with "criteria A and B for 1.5 probable migraine." Conclusions The proposed criteria are guided by the aims of accurately characterizing patients with migraine who develop primary chronic daily headache, reflecting the large numbers of patients with CM in clinical practice, and facilitating research into a disorder that is an academic and clinical priority.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1258-1266
Number of pages9
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2014


  • International Classification of Headache Disorders-3
  • chronic migraine
  • diagnostic criteria
  • medication overuse headache

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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