The relationship between migraine and right-to-left shunt: Fact or fiction?

Chest. 2006 Sep;130(3):896-901. doi: 10.1378/chest.130.3.896.


The prevalence of a right-to-left shunt, both cardiac and pulmonary, is high in patients with migraines, especially migraine with aura. Percutaneous closure of a right-to-left shunt seems to be associated with a pronounced decrease in the number of migraine attacks or its prevalence. In this review, the relationship between migraine and right-to-left shunting is described by highlighting the different pathophysiologic hypotheses.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arteriovenous Malformations / complications
  • Arteriovenous Malformations / epidemiology
  • Arteriovenous Malformations / physiopathology
  • Cardiovascular Abnormalities / complications*
  • Cardiovascular Abnormalities / epidemiology
  • Cardiovascular Abnormalities / physiopathology
  • Coronary Circulation
  • Heart Septal Defects, Atrial / complications
  • Heart Septal Defects, Atrial / epidemiology
  • Heart Septal Defects, Atrial / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Migraine Disorders / epidemiology
  • Migraine Disorders / etiology*
  • Migraine Disorders / physiopathology
  • Prevalence