Migrainous infarction: aspects on risk factors and therapy

Curr Pain Headache Rep. 2012 Jun;16(3):255-60. doi: 10.1007/s11916-012-0262-2.


Migraine and stroke are related in more than one way. Migraine with aura is a risk factor for ischemic stroke in women under age 45 years, particularly when combined with other risk factors such as smoking and oral contraceptives. Further, individuals with migraine with aura seem to have more white matter lesions and ischemic infarctions than control patients. Migraine has been correlated to cervical artery dissection, the symptoms of which can mimic migraine. Correspondingly, migraine with aura sometimes is mistaken for stroke. Migrainous infarction is a rare but specific type of ischemic stroke developing during an attack of migraine with aura. It is important to recognize this unusual complication of migraine because the management probably is important. In this review, we will discuss the present knowledge of migrainous infarction, the clinical picture, possible mechanisms, and potential prevention and treatment.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Contraceptives, Oral / adverse effects*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Magnetic Resonance Spectroscopy
  • Male
  • Migraine with Aura / complications*
  • Migraine with Aura / physiopathology
  • Migraine with Aura / therapy
  • Risk Factors
  • Sex Distribution
  • Sex Factors
  • Smoking / adverse effects*
  • Social Class
  • Stroke / etiology*
  • Stroke / physiopathology
  • Stroke / therapy


  • Contraceptives, Oral