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The effect of circulating adenosine on cerebral haemodynamics and headache generation in healthy subjects

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Adenosine is an endogenous neurotransmitter that is released from the brain during hypoxia and relaxes isolated human cerebral arteries. Many cerebral artery dilators cause migraine attacks. However, the effect of intravenous adenosine on headache and cerebral artery diameter has not previously been investigated in man and reports regarding the effect of intravenous adenosine on cerebral blood flow are conflicting. Twelve healthy participants received adenosine 80, 120 microg kg(-1) min(-1) and placebo intravenously for 20 min, in a double-blind, three-way, crossover, randomized design. Headache was rated on a verbal scale (0-10). Regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) with 133Xe inhalation and single-photon emission computed tomography (SPECT) and MCA flow velocity (V(MCA)) with transcranial Doppler, were measured in direct sequence. Six participants developed headache during 80 microg kg(-1) min(-1) and six during 120 microg kg(-1) min(-1) compared with none on placebo (P = 0.006). The headache was very mild and predominantly described as a pressing sensation. When correcting data for adenosine-induced hyperventilation, no significant changes in rCBF (P = 0.22) or V(MCA) (P = 0.16) were found between treatments. A significant dilation of the superficial temporal artery (STA) was seen (P < 0.001). These results show that circulating adenosine has no effect on rCBF or V(MCA), while it dilates the STA and causes very mild headache.

Original languageEnglish
JournalCephalalgia : an international journal of headache
Volume25
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)369-77
Number of pages9
ISSN0333-1024
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - May 2005

    Research areas

  • Adenosine/administration & dosage, Adult, Blood Flow Velocity/drug effects, Cerebrovascular Circulation/drug effects, Cross-Over Studies, Double-Blind Method, Female, Headache/chemically induced, Humans, Infusions, Intravenous, Male

ID: 54640401