The Influence of Plasma Free Fatty Acids and Cholesterol on the Aggregation of Blood Platelets in Migraine Patients




The Platelet Aggregate Ratio (PAR) was determined in 34 women with common migraine during headache-free intervals. Fourteen of them were studied also during migraine attacks.

The levels of FFA and total cholesterol in the blood were determined simultaneously to assess their influence on aggregation of blood platelets.

Plasma FFA levels rose significantly during headache (r<0.001). The levels of total blood cholesterol did not show a homogenous distribution. In 20 patients blood cholesterol was elevated; in the remaining 14 patients levels were within the standard range.

The migraineurs with high cholesterol showed a significantly lower PAR during headache-free intervals than did the control subjects (r<0.001). There was no significant difference between PAR in migraineurs with normal cholesterol and the controls. A significant fall of PAR during migraine attacks was observed only in migraineurs with high cholesterol (r<0.01). There was a significant correlation between the falling of PAR and the level of blood cholesterol (r<0.05). The same correlation was found between the falling of PAR and the rising of FFA during migraine attacks (r<0.05).

We suggest that FFA can raise the number of circulating platelet aggregates during migraine episodes. Total blood cholesterol is one of the factors which define migraine populations with respect to platelet aggregation.