Intradural artery dilation during experimentally induced migraine attacks

Pain. 2020 Jul 21. doi: 10.1097/j.pain.0000000000002008. Online ahead of print.


The middle meningeal artery is a proposed surrogate marker for activation of trigeminal nociceptors during migraine. Previous studies focused on the extracranial part of the artery, hence vasoreactivity in the intradural arteries during migraine is unknown.Thirty-four patients with migraine without aura were given sildenafil on one day and calcitonin gene-related peptide on another in double-blind crossover fashion. Patients were scanned with 3.0 tesla MR angiography before drug administration and again 6 hours later during induced attacks of migraine. We measured circumference of the intradural segment of the middle meningeal artery before and during induced migraine attacks. The middle cerebral and superficial temporal arteries were also examined.Fourteen patients had attacks during the second scan after both study drugs and 11 had a migraine after either one or the other, resulting in a total of 39 attacks included in the final analysis. Mean circumference of the intradural middle meningeal artery at baseline was 3.18 mm with an increase of 0.11 mm during attacks (p=0.005), corresponding to a relative dilation of 3.6% [95% CI: 1.4 to 5.7 %]. Middle cerebral artery dilated by 9.4 % [95% CI: 7.1 to 11.7 %] and superficial temporal artery by 2.3 % [95% CI: 0.2 to 4.4 %].Our study shows that the intradural middle meningeal artery and the middle cerebral artery are dilated during migraine induced by calcitonin gene-related peptide as well as sildenafil. We propose that intradural vasculature is affected by migraine-driven activation of trigeminal afferents during migraine attacks.