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.