C-reactive protein may be increased in migraine patients who present with complex clinical features

Headache. 2006 Feb;46(2):197-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1526-4610.2006.00330.x.


Objectives: Stroke risk is increased in migraine, the basis of which remains to be established. C-reactive protein (CRP) is a marker of cerebrovascular disease, suggesting in part an inflammatory mechanism. Because attacks of migraine may involve repeated sterile vascular inflammation, we measured CRP in migraine patients.

Methods: Retrospective review was conducted of 60 randomly sampled charts of patients with the diagnosis of migraine without aura (MwoA, n = 29) and migraine with aura (MwA, n = 31), in which CRP was recorded as part of the differential diagnostic evaluation. CRP was measured by standard commercial laboratory methods; high sensitivity CRP (hs-CRP) values above 3mg/L were considered abnormal.

Results: Elevated hs-CRP was found in 43% of all patients (26 of 60). In MwoA, of 29 subjects, abnormal hs-CRP was recorded in 16; in 10 no other conditions were found to explain the abnormality. In MwA, of 31 subjects, abnormal CRP was recorded in 10; in 5 no other condition could explain the abnormality. No associations were found between other demographic or clinical features.

Conclusions: CRP may be abnormal in MwoA and MwA patients who present with atypical, severe, or complex clinical features that require extensive differential diagnostic investigation.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • C-Reactive Protein / analysis*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Migraine Disorders / blood*
  • Migraine Disorders / complications*
  • Migraine with Aura / blood
  • Migraine with Aura / complications
  • Migraine without Aura / blood
  • Migraine without Aura / complications
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Stroke / etiology


  • C-Reactive Protein