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Cephalalgia. 2008 Dec;28(12):1298-304. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2982.2008.01679.x. Epub 2008 Aug 22.

The visual aura rating scale as an outcome predictor for persistent visual aura without infarction.

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  • 1Neurological Institute, Taipei Veterans General Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan.


Persistent visual aura without infarction is rare. Its pathogenic mechanism is unknown, and the response to migraine prophylactic agents varies. A systematic analysis of 29 patients (23 from the literature and six in the present report; 6M/23F, mean age 37.6 years) was carried out in terms of demographics, headache and visual symptom profiles, treatment regimens and outcomes. Patterns of visual disturbances (VDs) were re-assessed with the Visual Aura Rating Scale (VARS, score 0-10). Even though the majority of patients had headache improvement, only eight (27.6%) had complete resolution of persistent VD, without definite relevance to any specific agent. Patients with complete resolution of VD tended to have scotoma (50.0% vs. 0%; P = 0.003), unilateral/homonymous involvement (62.5% vs. 9.5%; P = 0.008), higher VARS scores (1.88 +/- 1.73 vs. 0.10 +/- 0.30; P < 0.001) and shorter duration of illness (10.0 +/- 12.9 vs. 60.2 +/- 90.9 months, P = 0.008) compared with those without. These findings remained even when the six current patients were not included for analyses. In conclusion, the prognosis of persistent VD was poor, and higher VARS scores, i.e. more typical of migraine visual aura, predicted a better outcome. For those with a potential for complete resolution, improvement would occur early in the course.

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