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Asymmetric Cerebral Blood Flow Patterns In Migraine

Steven R Levine, K M A Welch, James R Ewing, Wendy M Robertson

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Although asymmetric EEG abnormalities have been reported during the headache-free period in migraineurs, asymmetries of regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) have not been studied. Headache-free rCBF values measured by 133Xe inhalation were lower in migraineurs than in controls. Interhemispheric CBF and regional (anterior versus posterior) CBF did not differ between the groups. When a novel scoring system was used to obtain a mean asymmetry index (MAI), the MAI of the classiccomplicated group was significantly higher than that of the controls but not significantly different from that of the common migraine group. These data suggest that in the headache-free interval rCBF asymmetries, variable in location, exist in classiccomplicated migraineurs. These rCBF changes may be related to the cause or the effect of the focal neurologic dysfunction that occurs during an attack in these patients