Impaired Cardiovascular Reflexes in Cluster Headache and Migraine Patients: Evidence for an Autonomic Dysfunction


  • A. Boiardi,

  • L. Munari,

  • I. Milanesi,

  • C. Paggetta,

  • E. Lamperti,

  • G. Bussone



To investigate autonomic nervous system involvement in cluster headache (CH) and migraine, we compared the cardiovascular reflex responses of common migraine and CH subjects to a group of controls. A battery of 5 well-codified autonomic tests was applied: (1) deep breathing test (DB); (2) lying to standing test (LS); (3) Valsalva manoeuvre (VAL); (4) postural hypotension test (PH); (5) blood pressure response to sustained handgrip (SHG). Our data confirm an autonomic dysfunction in CH, mainly affecting the parasympathetic system. Evidence for an impairment of sympathetic cardiovascular reflex regulation was obtained in the common migraine group.