Decreased endothelium-dependent vasodilatation in patients with migraine: a new aspect to vascular pathophysiology of migraine

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BackgroundMigraine is a common neurovascular disorder characterized by attacks of severe headache, autonomic and neurological symptoms. We hypothesized that patients with migraine had abnormal endothelial function. The vascular theory of migraine assumes that the major pathophysiological events that initiate the migraine attack occur in the perivascular nerves of the major cerebral vessels. Accordingly, we aimed to measure endothelium-dependent vasodilatation in migraineurs by means of flow-mediated dilatation, which reflects endothelium-dependent vasodilatation capacity.Materials and methodsForty-five patients who fulfilled the diagnostic criteria for migraine and 45 age and sex-matched healthy participants were enrolled in the study. Flow-mediated dilatation of the brachial artery was determined using a high-resolution B-mode ultrasonographic system. Flow-mediated vasodilatation was expressed as the change in post-stimulus diameter as a percentage of the baseline diameter.ResultsMean ages of the patients were 33±10 years in migraineurs (range: 18–52 years, 36 female, 9 male) and 33±9 years in non-migraineurs (range: 17–50 years, 36 female and 9 male). Flow-mediated dilatation of patients with migraine is significantly lower than that of the controls (8.02±4.095% vs. 10.72±3.52%, respectively, P=0.001).ConclusionWe have shown that migraineurs have decreased endothelium-dependent vasodilatation capacity compared with non-migraineurs. Migraine may be a local manifestation of systemic vascular vasomotion abnormalities.

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