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Keywords:

  • migraine;
  • cranial MRI;
  • white matter foci

Objective.—To investigate the frequency of cranial magnetic resonance imaging abnormalities in patients with migraine and their relationship to type, duration, and frequency of migraine attacks.

Methods.—Forty-five patients (43 women, 2 men) with migraine whose ages ranged between 19 and 53 years (mean, 40.91 [SD, 7.69]) were evaluated. Of the 45 patients, 20 had migraine with aura and 25 had migraine without aura, according to the diagnostic criteria of the International Headache Society.

Results.—In 13 (28.8%) of 45 patients, white matter foci were present on magnetic resonance imaging. Eight of these patients (61.5%) had migraine with aura, and 5 patients (38.4%) had migraine without aura. The presence of white matter foci was significantly higher in the patients with aura (8 [40%] of 20) than in those without aura (5 [20%] of 25). It was found that as the frequency of attacks per month increased, the number of patients with white matter foci also increased. Although the mean duration of migraine was longer in patients with white matter foci (149.5 months [SD, 87.9]) than in those without white matter foci (134.1 months [SD, 88.3]), there was no significant difference (P > .05).

Conclusion.—Although there are no specific magnetic resonance imaging findings peculiar to migraine, detection of white matter foci should be taken into consideration in patients with migraine (especially migraine with aura). Frequency of attacks is an important indicator of existence of white matter foci.