Migraine Is Associated With Magnetic Resonance Imaging White Matter Abnormalities: A Meta-analysis | Headache | JAMA Neurology | JAMA Network
[Skip to Navigation]
Access to paid content on this site is currently suspended due to excessive activity being detected from your IP address Please contact the publisher to request reinstatement.
Lipton  RBStewart  WFDiamond  SDiamond  MLReed  M Prevalence and burden of migraine in the United States: data from the American Migraine Study II.  Headache 2001;41646- 657PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
Schmidt  RFazekas  FKleinert  G  et al.  Magnetic resonance imaging signal hyperintensities in the deep and subcortical white matter: a comparative study between stroke patients and normal volunteers.  Arch Neurol 1992;49825- 827PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
de Benedittis  GLorenzetti  ASina  CBernasconi  V Magnetic resonance imaging in migraine and tension-type headache.  Headache 1995;35264- 268PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
Pavese  NCanapicchi  RNuti  A  et al.  White matter MRI hyperintensities in a hundred and twenty-nine consecutive migraine patients.  Cephalalgia 1994;14342- 345PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
Igarashi  HSakai  FKan  SOkada  JTazaki  Y Magnetic resonance imaging of the brain in patients with migraine.  Cephalalgia 1991;1169- 74PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
Robbins  LFriedman  H MRI in migraineurs.  Headache 1992;32507- 508PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
Cooney  BSGrossman  RIFarber  REGoin  JEGaletta  SL Frequency of magnetic resonance imaging abnormalities in patients with migraine.  Headache 1996;36616- 621PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
Ziegler  DKBatnitzky  SBarter  RMcMillan  JH Magnetic resonance image abnormality in migraine with aura.  Cephalalgia 1991;11147- 150PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
Osborn  REAlder  DCMitchell  CS MR imaging of the brain in patients with migraine headaches.  Am J Neuroradiol 1991;12521- 524PubMedGoogle Scholar
Petitti  DB Meta-Analysis, Decision Analysis And Cost-Effectiveness Analysis: Methods For Quantitative Synthesis In Medicine. 2nd ed. New York, NY: Oxford University Press; 2000
Fazekas  FKoch  MSchmidt  R  et al.  The prevalence of cerebral damage varies with migraine type: a MRI study.  Headache 1992;32287- 291PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
Rovaris  MBozzali  MRocca  MAColombo  BFilippi  M An MR study of tissue damage in the cervical cord of patients with migraine.  J Neurol Sci 2001;18343- 46PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
Higgins  JThompson  S Quantifying heterogeneity in a meta-analysis.  Stat Med 2002;211539- 1558PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
Low  NCMerikangas  KR The comorbidity of migraine.  CNS Spectr 2003;8433- 444PubMedGoogle Scholar
Vermeer  SEHollander  Mvan Dijk  EJHofman  AKoudstaal  PJBreteler  MMB Silent brain infarcts and white matter lesions increase stroke risk in the general population: the Rotterdam Scan Study.  Stroke 2003;341126- 1129PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
Carolei  AMarini  CDe Matteis  G History of migraine and risk of cerebral is- chaemia in young adults: the Italian National Research Council Study Group on stroke in the young.  Lancet 1996;3471503- 1506PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
Loder  EBiondi  D Disease modification in migraine: a concept that has come of age?  Headache 2003;43135- 143PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
Schick  SGahleitner  AWober-Bingol  C  et al.  Virchow-Robin spaces in childhood migraine.  Neuroradiology 1999;41283- 287PubMedGoogle ScholarCrossref
Neurological Review
September 2004

Migraine Is Associated With Magnetic Resonance Imaging White Matter Abnormalities: A Meta-analysis

Author Affiliations

Author Affiliations: Mount Sinai Hospital, Division of Neurology, Department of Medicine, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario.



Arch Neurol. 2004;61(9):1366-1368. doi:10.1001/archneur.61.9.1366

Background  There is controversy as to whether migraine is associated with white matter abnormalities (WMAs) on magnetic resonance images. These abnormalities may be important as a risk factor for future stroke. Further, it is controversial whether any increased risk of WMAs is attributable to comorbidities such as vascular disease.

Methods  A meta-analysis of published case-control studies was undertaken to address the relationship between migraine and magnetic resonance imaging WMAs. Seven studies were identified. Data from studies reporting the incidence of magnetic resonance imaging WMAs in those with migraine and appropriate control populations were used to calculate odds ratios for WMAs in migraine for each study. A stratified meta-analysis was performed using studies that did and did not exclude subjects with disease comorbidities.

Results  The summary odds ratio shows that those with migraine are at increased risk for WMAs (odds ratio, 3.9 [95% confidence interval, 2.26-6.72]). The risk does not differ between studies that included subjects with comorbidities and those that did not.

Conclusion  This meta-analysis demonstrates that subjects with migraine are at higher risk of having WMAs on magnetic resonance images than those without migraine. This increased risk is present even in younger individuals who do not have co-occurring cerebrovascular disease risk factors. Prospective studies are needed to determine whether the increased risk of stroke in migraine is mediated or foreshadowed by the presence of WMAs.