Is Blood Homocysteine Elevated in Migraine?


Address all correspondence to Dr. R. Hering-Hanit, Headache Unit, Meir General Hospital, Sapir Medical Center, Kfar Saba 44281, Israel.


Objective.—To determine total serum homocysteine levels in a large group of patients with migraine with and without aura.

Background.—Hypercoagulable state is a known risk factor for stroke in the young. The existence of a hypercoagulable state has been postulated in migraine and homocysteinemia with young-onset stroke. To the best of our knowledge, blood homocysteine has not been studied in a significant number of patients with various forms of migraine.

Methods.—Total serum homocysteine was measured with high-performance liquid chromatography in 78 patients with migraine and in 126 age- and sex-matched healthy volunteers.

Results.—Seventy-eight patients aged 18 to 65 years were studied: 22 with migraine with aura and 56 with migraine without aura. Only 1 man had significantly elevated blood homocysteine (38.6 μmol/L), while another had a borderline elevation (15.8 μmol/L) (reference value for both sexes in our laboratory is 4 to 14 μmol/L). Both patients suffered from migraine without aura.

Conclusions.—Blood homocysteine is not elevated in migraine.