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Eur J Neurol. 2011 Oct;18(10):1220-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1468-1331.2011.03364.x. Epub 2011 Mar 18.

Migrainous infarction: a Nordic multicenter study.

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  • 1Department of Neuroscience, Neurology, Uppsala University Hospital, Uppsala, Sweden.



Migrainous infarction (MI), i.e., an ischemic stroke developing during an attack of migraine with aura is rare and the knowledge of its clinical characteristics is limited. Previous case series using the International Classification of Headache Disorders (ICHD) included <10 cases which make conclusions less valid. This study aimed to describe characteristics and outcome of MI in a larger sample.


We analyzed demographic data, risk factors, migraine medication, stroke localization, symptoms, and outcome in a sample of 33 patients with MI according to second edition of the ICHD criteria collected from seven Nordic headache clinics.


Amongst 33 patients with MI, there were 20 (61%) women and 13 (39%) men with the median age for stroke of 39 (range 19-76) years. Traditional risk factors for stroke were rare compared with Scandinavian young ischemic stroke populations. During the acute phase, 12 (36%) patients used ergotamines or triptans. Stroke was located in the posterior circulation in 27 (82%) patients and cerebellum was involved in 7 (21%). Except in two patients with brainstem infarctions, the outcome was favorable with total recovery or limited residual symptoms.


The prevalence of traditional risk factors was low and the infarctions were predominantly located in posterior circulation territory, supporting theories of migraine specific mechanisms. The outcome was in general favorable.

© 2011 The Author(s). European Journal of Neurology © 2011 EFNS.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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