Peripheral endothelial function and arterial stiffness in women with migraine with aura: a case-control study

Cephalalgia, 04/24/2012

Peripheral endothelial function is not impaired in women with migraine with aura (MA), but they have greater arterial stiffness. This may contribute to the increased stroke risk in women with MA.


  • Twenty–nine female MA patients without comorbidities and 30 healthy women were included, and carotid intima–media thickness was assessed by a standardized procedure.
  • Endothelial function was assessed using peripheral arterial tonometry.
  • Reactive hyperaemic response of digital pulse amplitude was measured following 5 minutes of forearm occlusion of the brachial artery.
  • Arterial stiffness was assessed by fingertip tonometry derived and heart–rate–adjusted augmentation index.


  • No differences were found in peripheral arterial tonometry ratio (2.3±0.6 vs 2.2±0.8; p=0.58) and left carotid intima–media thickness (in μm: 484±119 vs 508±60; p=0.37).
  • Women with MA had higher heart–rate–averaged augmentation index [median (interquartile range, IQR) of 5 (IQR 0.5 to 18) vs –5 (IQR –16.8 to 8.3), p=0.005] and heart–rate–adjusted augmentation index [1 (IQR –6 to 12.5) vs –8 (IQR –20.3 to 2.5), p=0.008] than healthy controls.

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