Increased nitroglycerin-mediated vasodilation in migraineurs without aura in the interictal period

J Med Ultrason (2001). 2018 Oct;45(4):605-610. doi: 10.1007/s10396-018-0880-3. Epub 2018 May 23.


Purpose: Migraine is associated with vascular disorders, but the underlying mechanism is unknown. Nitric oxide (NO) sensitivity is believed to play a major role in migraine pathophysiology. We investigated flow-mediated vasodilatation (FMD) and nitroglycerin-mediated vasodilatation (NMD) of the brachial artery by means of a key molecular mediator, NO, in patients with migraine without aura in the interictal period whether the abnormality is found.

Methods: A total of 12 patients with migraine without aura and 12 matched healthy controls were enrolled in this study. FMD and NMD were measured in all patients and controls using brachial artery ultrasonography.

Results: There was no significant difference in brachial artery diameter between migraineurs and nonmigraineurs (3.39 ± 0.68 vs 3.89 ± 0.67 mm, respectively; p = 0.083). A significant difference in FMD was not found between migraineurs and nonmigraineurs (6.94 ± 5.72 vs 6.08 ± 2.98%, respectively; p = 0.651). However, NMD in migraineurs was significant higher than that in nonmigraineurs (21.56 ± 7.36 vs 14.23 ± 7.41%, respectively; p = 0.024).

Conclusion: We think that patients with migraine without aura in the interictal period have selective sensitivity in dilator response to nitroglycerin and may have systemic NO sensitivity.

Keywords: Flow-mediated vasodilation; Migraine headache; NO sensitivity; Nitroglycerin; Nitroglycerin-mediated vasodilation.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Brachial Artery / diagnostic imaging
  • Brachial Artery / drug effects*
  • Brachial Artery / physiopathology*
  • Carotid Intima-Media Thickness
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Migraine without Aura / diagnostic imaging
  • Migraine without Aura / physiopathology*
  • Nitric Oxide Donors / pharmacology*
  • Nitroglycerin / pharmacology*
  • Pulse Wave Analysis
  • Vasodilation / drug effects*
  • Vasodilation / physiology
  • Vasodilator Agents / pharmacology*
  • Young Adult


  • Nitric Oxide Donors
  • Vasodilator Agents
  • Nitroglycerin