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Multicenter Study
. 2017 Mar 30;7(5):e00662.
doi: 10.1002/brb3.662. eCollection 2017 May.

Migraine Prevalence in Patients With Unruptured Intracranial Aneurysms: A Case-Control Study

Free PMC article
Multicenter Study

Migraine Prevalence in Patients With Unruptured Intracranial Aneurysms: A Case-Control Study

Elbert H Witvoet et al. Brain Behav. .
Free PMC article


Objectives: Migraine is a suggested risk factor for aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage (aSAH). An increased risk of aSAH in migraineurs may be explained by an increased prevalence of unruptured intracranial aneurysms (UIA). We performed a case-control study to compare lifetime migraine prevalence in patients with UIA, patients with a history of transient ischemic attact (TIA) or ischemic stroke and controls without a history of aSAH, TIA or ischemic stroke.

Materials and methods: Patients with UIA were recruited from two university hospitals. Data on patients with TIA/stroke were retrieved from a previous study. Partners of patients with UIA or TIA/stroke were included as controls. Migraine history was assessed via a telephone interview based on the International Classification of Headache Disorders, second edition criteria. We calculated odds ratios (OR) for migraine with univariable and multivariable logistic regression analyses, adjusted for age, sex, hypertension and smoking.

Results: We included 172 patients with UIA, 221 patients with TIA or stroke, and 164 controls. In UIA patients, migraine prevalence was 24.4% compared with 14.6% in controls (UIA vs. controls; OR 1.9; 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.1-3.5) and 22.2% in TIA/stroke patients (UIA vs. TIA/stroke; OR 1.1; 95% CI 0.7-1.8). After adjustments, the OR for migraine in UIA patients versus controls were 1.7 (95% CI 1.0-3.1) and 0.9 (95% CI 0.5-1.0) versus TIA/stroke. Results were comparable for migraine with and without aura.

Conclusions: Migraine prevalence is possibly increased in patients with UIA compared with controls and comparable with the prevalence in patients with TIA or stroke. Further studies are needed to confirm our findings and to investigate the underlying pathophysiology.

Keywords: intracranial aneurysms; migraine; stroke; subarachnoid hemorrhage.


Figure 1
Figure 1
Flowchart of UIA patients. UIA, unruptured intracranial aneurysm; aSAH, aneurysmal subarachnoid hemorrhage. *Loss to follow‐up mostly occurred because patients moved to another city or changed their phone number

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