Vol 4, No 3 (2019)
Research paper
Published online: 2019-10-08

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The value of carotid intima-media measurements during the periods of attack and remission of migraine disease and tension-type headache in differential diagnosis

Gülden Kazancı1, Togay Evrin2, Burak Katipoğlu2, Refah Sayın3, Ebru Özan Sanhal4, Ertuğrul Kazancı2, Fatih Demir2, Semih Korkut5, Lukasz Szarpak6
Disaster Emerg Med J 2019;4(3):109-115.


INTRODUCTION: In Turkey, 2% of emergency department admissions are migraine and there is no specific biomarker with differential diagnostic value in patients presenting with headache. There are studies showing that the blood-brain barrier deteriorates during migraine attacks, the risk of atherosclerosis is increased in migraine patients and it is associated with cardiovascular and cerebrovascular diseases. In light of this information, the value of carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT) measurements in the differential diagnosis of tension and migraine headache was investigated. 

MATERIAL AND METHODS: The study group consisting of 20 tension headache, 23 migraine attacks, 20 remission migraine patients admitted to the emergency department and neurology outpatient clinic of Ridvan Ege Hospital between February and September 2017 and control group of 21 healthy volunteers were compared. Carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT) of all participants was measured by specialist radiologist. The data obtained were analysed using SPSS 15.0 statistical program. 

RESULTS: There was no significant difference between the participants in terms of age and gender. When the carotid intima-media thickness was analysed between the four groups and according to the presence and type of migraine, no significant difference was found (p = 0.489). 

CONCLUSIONS: This is the first study in the literature which evaluates the relationship between subclinical atherosclerosis and tension-type headache and migraine by examining patients with tension-type headache and migraine disease in both episode and remission period. According to the results obtained, migraine and tension headache is not associated with subclinical atherosclerosis. However, larger-scale studies are required in this sense.

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