Cerebrovascular reactivity measured by transcranial Doppler in migraine

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Changes in the diameter of intracranial arteries might have a major role in the pathophysiology of migraine. Though several studies have found alterations in velocity of blood flow and in cerebral vasomotor reactivity of intracranial arteries in migraineurs in headache-free periods, as well as during migraine attacks, the results are inconclusive. To determine if intracranial hemodynamic characteristics of patients with migraine differ from those of controls, we measured baseline velocity of blood flow by transcranial Doppler in the middle cerebral arteries in headache-free periods in 51 migraine patients and in 101 age-matched controls. Cerebrovascular reactivity was measured after intravenous administration of acetazolamide in 12 migrainous patients and in 19 controls. Baseline mean velocity was significantly higher in the migraine group (70 versus 65 and 72 versus 65 cm/s with P=-0.02 and P=0.0007 on the left and right sides, respectively). The difference stayed significant during acetazolamide stimulation, but the course of response did not differ between controls and migraineurs. Despite statistical significance, absolute differences were small. Therefore, middle cerebral artery velocity measurements and the acetazolamide test are not useful for the diagnosis of migraine in the interictal period.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-328
Number of pages6
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - May 1 1996


  • acetazolamide
  • cerebrovascular reactivity
  • migraine
  • transcranial Doppler

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology

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