MRI in Migraineurs


  • Lawrence Robbins M.D.,

    Corresponding authorSearch for more papers by this author
    • 1Assistant Professor of Neurology, University of Illinois at Chicago, and the Robbins Headache Clinic, Northbrook, Illinois.

  • Harold Friedman M.D.

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    • 2Clinical Instructor of Neuroradiology, Northwestern University Medical School, Chicago, Illinois and Northeast Illinois MRI, Prairie View, Illinois.

Lawrence Robbins, M.D., Robbins Headache Clinic, Suite 211, 1535 Lake Cook Road, North-brook, Illinois 60062.



Forty-six migraineurs and 69 age- and sex-matched controls referred for MRI scans of the brain were evaluated for the incidence of intracranial pathology. Axial long TR/short TE and long TR/Iong TE and sagittal short TR/short TE scans were performed in all patients. Enhancement with Gd-DTPA was performed in all controls and in nine migraineurs. Six of 46 (13%) of the migraineurs had white matter lesions versus three of 69 (4.3%) of the controls. The white matter lesions in migraineurs were seen in a younger age group than in the controls. These findings agree with recent MRI studies. Ischemia or an immune-based white matter demyelination are possible mechanisms for the white matter lesions.