Extracranial arterial dilatation not a cause for migraine pain according to study

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Magnetic resonance angiography of intracranial and extracranial arteries in patients with spontaneous migraine without aura: a cross-sectional study -‘Extracranial arterial dilatation has been hypothesised to be the cause of pain in patients who have migraine without aura. To test that hypothesis, we aimed to measure extracranial and intracranial arteries during attacks of migraine without aura.’

Why is extracranial aterial dilation thought to be the cause of pain in migraine without aura specifically? Just curious. Bet it is both.

Anyway, they recruited subjects aged 18-60 from the Danish Headache Centre and via their Danish website. They did mgnetic resonance angiography during migraine attacks. “Primary endpoints were difference in circumference of extracranial and intracranial arterial segments comparing attack and attack-free days and the pain and the non-pain side. The extracranial arterial segments measured were the external carotid (ECA), the superficial temporal (STA), the middle meningeal (MMA), and the cervical part of the internal carotid (ICAcervical) arteries. The intracranial arterial segments were the cavernous (ICAcavernous) and cerebral (ICAcerebral) parts of the internal carotid, the middle cerebral (MCA), and the basilar (BA) arteries.” Study

Then between Oct 12, 2010 and Feb 8, 2012 they recruited 78 patients, 19 of which were women who had scans and were within the final analysis. They concluded, “Migraine pain was not accompanied by extracranial arterial dilatation, and by only slight intracranial dilatation. Future migraine research should focus on the peripheral and central pain pathways rather than simple arterial dilatation.” Study

The study is interesting but there has been a lot of information to show the same indications… that blood vessels don’t behave as we once thought and triptans don’t do as what we once thought as a result and it is more about the nerves than anything. So this article New theory on the cause of migraine about this study has perhaps a poorly chosen title… More like ‘hey extracranial atrial dilation not a cause for pain in migraine with aura.’ or not all pain.


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