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Praxis (Bern 1994). 2012 Oct 17;101(21):1361-5. doi: 10.1024/1661-8157/a001088.

[Migraine and cadiac shunts - is there a link?].

[Article in German]

Author information

  • 1Klinik für Neurologie, Universitätsspital Zürich.


Recently an association between migraine and cardiac shunts (e.g. through a patent foramen ovale, PFO) has been described. There is evidence from mostly retrospective case series that PFO closure can significantly improve migraine. On the other hand an increase in attack frequency or de novo migraine after percutaneous closure of an atrial septal defect has been described. Animal experiments showed that microemboli in the cerebral circulation can trigger a cortical spreading depression, which is believed the pathophysiological substrate of migraine aura. A randomized controlled trial that investigated PFO closure for treatment resistant migraine with aura was negative. It is currently discussed whether certain subgroups, who have a high risk for paradoxical embolism, might improve after PFO closer.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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