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Posterior Cerebral Hypoperfusion In Migraine Without Aura

M Denuelle, N Fabre, P Payoux, F Chollet, G Geraud

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In cerebral blood flow studies, migraine aura is characterized by a posterior cortical hypoperfusion. In contrast, only rare and mild changes in brain perfusion have been demonstrated in migraine without aura, suggesting two different haemodynamic patterns in migraine with and without aura. Our aim was to study hypoperfusion with positron emission tomography (PET) as early as possible during spontaneous migraine without aura attacks. We used H215O PET to investigate seven patients (six female, one male) with migraine without aura (International Classification of Headache Diseases-II code 1.1) in three situations: during the headache phase, after headache relief following sumatriptan injection, and during an attack-free interval. Statistical analysis was performed with SPM2. Within 4 h after the attack onset, significant relative bilateral posterior cortical hypoperfusion was found and persisted after headache relief following sumatriptan injection. A posterior cortical hypoperfusion demonstrated in migraine without aura could suggest a common pathogenesis in migraine with and without aura. The significance of relative posterior hypoperfusion in migraine without aura is discussed according to the current knowledge of migraine pathogenesis.