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Perfusion Patterns In Migraine With Aura

A. Förster, H. Wenz, H. U. Kerl, M. Brockmann, C. Groden
Published 2014 · Medicine

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Objectives Migraine with aura is a common neurological disorder, and differentiation from transient ischemic attack or stroke based on clinical symptoms may be difficult. Methods From an MRI report database we identified 33 patients with migraine with aura and compared these to 33 age-matched ischemic stroke patients regarding perfusion patterns on perfusion-weighted imaging (PWI)-derived maps: time to peak (TTP), mean transit time (MTT), and cerebral blood flow and volume (CBF, CBV). Results In 18/33 (54.5%) patients with migraine with aura, TTP showed areas of hypoperfusion, most of these not limited to the territory of a specific artery but affecting two or more vascular territories. In patients with migraine with aura, TTP (1.09 ± 0.05 vs. 1.47 ± 0.40, p < 0.001) and MTT ratios (1.01 ± 0.10 vs. 1.19 ± 0.21, p = 0.003) were significantly lower compared to patients with ischemic stroke. In contrast to this, CBF and CBV ratios did not differ significantly between both groups. Conclusions Migraine aura is usually associated with a perfusion deficit not limited to a specific vascular territory, and only a moderate increase of TTP. Thus, hypoperfusion restricted to a single vascular territory in combination with a marked increase of TTP or MTT may be regarded as atypical for migraine aura and suggestive of acute ischemic stroke.
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