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Case Rep Neurol. 2012 May;4(2):116-9. doi: 10.1159/000339824. Epub 2012 Jun 26.

Migraine-induced epistaxis and sporadic hemiplegic migraine: unusual features in the same patient.

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Hospital de Santo António, Centro Hospitalar do Porto, Porto, Portugal.



Since the mid-19th century, epistaxis and migraine have been occasionally associated with each other. Nevertheless, we found only two cases in the contemporary medical literature. Sporadic hemiplegic migraine is a subtype of migraine with reversible motor deficits, without similar episodes in relatives.


We describe a 47-year-old male with a history of migraine with a scintillating scotoma starting at the age of 20. In some of the episodes, he developed epistaxis in the resolution phase of migraine. At the age of 35, he experienced a visual aura followed by transient aphasia, left crural weakness and headache. Contralateral similar episodes occurred in the subsequent months. Neurological examination and MRI were normal. Mutations in CACNA1A, ATP1A2, SCN1A and NOTCH3 were excluded.


Three distinct aspects deserve our consideration. This is the first report of migraine-induced epistaxis involving aura; the scarcity of similar reports may be due to the lack of a guided anamnesis. The complex aura presented had a peculiar topography, inconsistent with the classical analytical neurological semiology. This may suggest that the spreading depression affects the brain bilaterally but in an uneven and elective manner. Lastly, the present report conveys that the late appearance of complex auras requires improbable interactions between environmental and endogenous conditions in individuals with a genetic predisposition.


Epistaxis; Migraine with aura; Sporadic hemiplegic migraine; Spreading depression

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