Migraine as a systemic vasculopathy

Cephalalgia. 2009 Sep;29(9):987-96. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2982.2009.01937.x.


Epidemiological studies suggests that migraine is associated with disorders of the cerebral, coronary, retinal, dermal and peripheral vasculature. There is evidence that migraine is associated with endothelial dysfunction, both as a cause and a consequence. Endothelial dysfunction, a vascular risk factor, is characterized by endothelial activation and impaired vascular reactivity. Plasma and genetic biomarkers for these conditions have been identified. The clinical significance lies in the potential for the rapid identification of migraineurs at increased risk of ischaemic stroke and vascular disease through ascertainment of endothelial dysfunction biomarkers. It is uncertain whether stroke, myocardial infarction and other vasculopathies can be prevented by migraine prophylaxis, endothelial repair, platelet inhibition or a combination of these strategies.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Migraine Disorders / etiology
  • Migraine Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Vascular Diseases / physiopathology*