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Intact blood-brain barrier during spontaneous attacks of migraine without aura: a 3T DCE-MRI study

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BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: The integrity of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) has been questioned in migraine, but BBB permeability has never been investigated during spontaneous migraine attacks. In the present study, BBB permeability during spontaneous attacks of migraine without aura was investigated compared to an interictal state.

METHODS: Seventy-four patients suffering from migraine without aura were recruited to participate in this cross-sectional dynamic contrast-enhanced magnetic resonance imaging (DCE-MRI) study. The patients were instructed to report at the hospital for DCE-MRI scan during and outside of a spontaneous migraine attack. The primary end-point was a difference in the BBB permeability (ml/100 g/min) between the attack and the headache-free days. The permeability was assessed in five different regions of interest (ROIs) located in the anterior, middle and posterior cerebral area, brain stem, posterior pons and whole brain. The paired samples t test was used to compare Ki (permeability) values between the attack and headache-free days.

RESULTS: Nineteen patients completed the study. Median time from onset of migraine attack to scan was 6.5 h (range 4.0-15.5 h). No change in the mean BBB permeability (ml/100 g/min) was found between the attack and the headache-free days in any of the measured ROIs. No relationship between the pain side or intensity and BBB permeability was found in 15 patients with unilateral pain during the examined attack.

CONCLUSIONS: It was demonstrated that the BBB permeability during spontaneous migraine attacks without aura was unchanged.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Journal of Neurology
Volume24
Issue number9
Pages (from-to)1116-1124
Number of pages9
ISSN1351-5101
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2017

    Research areas

  • Journal Article

ID: 52192156