Plasma levels of inflammatory mediators in vestibular migraine

Int J Neurosci. 2020 Apr;130(4):330-335. doi: 10.1080/00207454.2019.1681994. Epub 2019 Oct 24.


Objectives: Vestibular migraine (VM) is an under-recognized entity with substantial burden for the individual and society. The underlying mechanism of VM and its distinction from other migraine mechanisms still remain unclear. Inflammatory pathways have been suggested to contribute to vestibular migraine. Our aim was to further investigate the possible role of inflammation in the pathophysiology of VM.Methods: We recruited 30 patients with VM diagnosed according to ICHD-3 criteria and 50 gender- and age-matched controls. Blood samples were obtained from 11 VM patients during an attack and from 13 VM patients under prophylactic treatment. Plasma levels of calcitonin gene related peptide (CGRP), neurokinin A (NKA), substance P (SP), NLRP1, NLRP3, caspase-1, IL-1β, IL-6, TNF-α and NFκB were measured by ELISA.Results: IL-6 levels were significantly reduced in VM patients, whereas levels of other inflammation parameters were comparable to those of healthy controls. Levels of inflammatory mediators were not correlated with clinical parameters. Likewise, there were no significant differences among VM patients with and without headache attack and prophylactic treatment.Conclusion: Our results argue against involvement of systemic inflammation in the pathophysiology of VM.

Keywords: Vestibular migraine; cytokine; headache; inflammasome; inflammatory mediators; vascular neuropeptides.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammation Mediators / blood*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Migraine Disorders / blood*
  • Migraine Disorders / complications
  • Vertigo / blood*
  • Vertigo / complications
  • Vestibule, Labyrinth / physiopathology


  • Biomarkers
  • Inflammation Mediators