Pacemaker implantation for treating migraine-like headache secondary to cardiac arrhythmia: A case report

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Rationale:Co-occurrence of headache and arrhythmia is not rare. However, their causal relationship remains unclear. Here, we described a case of migraine-like headache relieving with pacemaker implantation. Our case study indicates that arrhythmia is causal for migraine-like headache, which, to our knowledge, has never been reported.Patient concerns:A 63-year-old woman patient suffered from paroxysmal headache with a visual aura presenting like migraine for 2 years. No ophthalmic or neurological disorder was found, but cardiac examination detected bradycardia, which was confirmed by 24-hour dynamic electrocardiogram (DCG) revealing sinus bradycardia mixed with ventricular premature beats and supraventricular tachycardia. Transcranial doppler (TCD) detected an equal echo flat plaque on the anterolateral wall of the common carotid artery (CA) bifurcation.Diagnosis:Migraine-like headaches secondary to arrhythmia.Interventions:The patient underwent pacemaker implantation.Outcomes:Both visual aura and headache were resolved following pacemaker implantation.Lessons:To the best of the authors’ knowledge, we are the first to report migraine-like headache as a secondary symptom of arrhythmia. Arrhythmia may aggravate insufficient blood supply to the brain due to CA lesion and induce a migraine-like headache. This case study indicated that pacemaker implantation could be a fundamental treatment for migraine-like headaches caused by cardiac arrhythmia.

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