Investigating Brain MRI Findings in Children with Headache

Iran J Child Neurol. 2018 Summer;12(3):78-85.


Objective: Migraine is a common headache associated with structural changes in brain. The purpose of this study was to evaluate brain MRI findings in children with migraine.

Materials & methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted at Booali Hospital, Mazandaran University of Medical Sciences, Sari, Iran. Participants with headache and age between 5 and 15 yr were evaluated with MRI and their headache type was diagnosed by the standard criteria. The findings of the MRI were interpreted by a radiologist blinded to the diagnoses.

Results: Overall, 81 individuals with symptom of headache and the mean age of 9.56±3.25 yr were enrolled. Twenty patients with the mean age of 9.65±2.75 yr were diagnosed with migraine without aura. Among the 54 male patients, 8 patients (14.8%) were diagnosed with migraine; and among the 27 female patients, 12 patients (44.4%) were diagnosed with migraine (RR: 1.5, 95%CI: 1.07-2.18, P=0.004). Ten migraine patients had abnormal MRI findings (50%), including 8 cases with high signal white matter lesion, and 2 cases with empty sella. The occurrence of the high signal white matter lesions was significantly greater in the migraine patients (RR: 3.91, 95% CI: 2.10-7.25, P=0.001).

Conclusion: The possibility of occurrence of the high signal white matter lesions in the brain MRI of children with migraine was significantly higher compared with other headache types.

Keywords: Brain; Children; Headache; MRI; Migraine; White matter hyperintensity.