Document Detail

The role of cardiac and pulmonary pathology in migraine: a hypothesis.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  16618259     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
From observation of recent data linking migraine with right-to-left shunts and by analogy with the etiologies of decompression illness, we postulate that cardiac and pulmonary pathology can have an important effect on the cranial final common pathway that generates attacks of migraine. One possible mechanism is associated with a significant right-to-left shunt, which is usually through a persistent foramen ovale, but is sometime through a pulmonary shunt. This allows a venous agent, possibly 5-hydroxytryptamine, to bypass the lung filter. Migraine can occur when there is no shunt if similar agents are liberated in the left heart beyond the lung filter, possibly by platelet activation. Migraine could also occur if the venous agents are produced in such large amounts that they overwhelm the pulmonary filter or are unaffected by passage through the lungs. In some individuals migraine may be unrelated to blood-borne triggers.
Peter Wilmshurst; Simon Nightingale
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Journal Article; Review    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Headache     Volume:  46     ISSN:  0017-8748     ISO Abbreviation:  Headache     Publication Date:  2006 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2006-04-18     Completed Date:  2006-07-26     Revised Date:  2009-02-02    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  2985091R     Medline TA:  Headache     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  429-34     Citation Subset:  IM    
Department of Cardiology, Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, UK.
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MeSH Terms
Arteriovenous Fistula / complications*
Heart Septal Defects, Atrial / complications*
Lung Diseases / complications*
Migraine Disorders / etiology*
Migraine with Aura / etiology
Comment In:
Headache. 2006 Mar;46(3):435-8   [PMID:  16618260 ]

From MEDLINE®/PubMed®, a database of the U.S. National Library of Medicine

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