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SYNOPSIS

Ergotamine alters the distribution of carotid blood flow over the capillaries and the arteriovenous anastomoses in favour of perfusion of the capillaries. This mode of action of ergotamine, which occurred independently of the concomitant reduction in carotid blood flow, indirectly supports the migraine shunt theory in which excessive opening of arteriovenous anastomoses is thought to be the primary hemodynamic derangement underlying the vascular headache of the migraine type.