To clarify the detailed clinical characteristics of cranial autonomic symptoms (CAS) of Japanese patients with migraine and to get insight into the pathophysiological implications.
Recent studies reported that CAS in migraine is causing diagnostic confusion with cluster headache or sinus headache; however, most reports have concerned Caucasians, and Asian data are scarce. The regional differences in the clinical characteristics of primary headaches between Caucasians and Asians have also been revealed recently.
This was a cross-sectional study. We investigated 373 patients with migraine in a tertiary headache center with face-to-face interviews.
According to our findings, 158/373 (42.4%) patients with migraine had CAS and were characterized by more frequent cutaneous allodynia than those without CAS, suggesting the contribution of central sensitization; however, there were no statistically significant differences in pulsating pain or motion sensitivity as signs of peripheral sensitization. In contrast to the previous study, osmophobia was found to be significantly related to CAS.
CAS in patients with migraine is common not only in Caucasians but also in Asians. Central sensitization seems to contribute more than peripheral sensitization to CAS manifestation, and osmophobia might be noteworthy among Asian patients with migraine. To avoid a misdiagnosis, we emphasize the need for comments on CAS in the international classification of headache disorders migraine criteria.

© 2020 American Headache Society.