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Endothelial function in migraine: a cross-sectional study

Author(s): Vanmolkot Floris | de Hoon Jan

Journal: BMC Neurology
ISSN 1471-2377

Volume: 10;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 119;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Abstract Background Migraine has been associated with cardiovascular disorders. Endothelial dysfunction may be a mechanism underlying this association. The present study tested the hypothesis that endothelium-dependent vasodilation, basal endothelial nitric oxide release and endothelial fibrinolytic capacity are impaired in migraine patients. Methods Graded doses of sodium nitroprusside (SNP, 0.2 to 0.8 μg.min-1.dL-1 forearm), substance P (0.2 to 0.8 pmol.min-1.dL-1 forearm) and NG-monomethyl-L-arginine (L-NMMA, 0.1 to 0.4 μmol.min-1.dL-1 forearm) were infused into the brachial artery of 16 migraine patients with or without aura during a headache-free interval and 16 age- and sex-matched subjects without a history of migraine. Forearm blood flow (FBF) was measured by strain-gauge venous occlusion plethysmography. Local forearm release of tissue plasminogen activator (t-PA) in response to substance P infusion was assessed using the arteriovenous plasma concentration gradient. Responses to infused drugs were compared between patients and matched controls by analysis of variance. Results In both migraine patients and control subjects, SNP and substance P caused a dose-dependent increase, and L-NMMA a dose-dependent decrease in FBF (P < 0.001 for all responses). In both groups, substance P caused an increase in t-PA release (P < 0.001). FBF responses and t-PA release were comparable between migraine patients and control subjects. Conclusions The absence of differences in endothelium-dependent vasodilation, basal endothelial nitric oxide production and stimulated t-PA release between migraine patients and healthy control subjects argues against the presence of endothelial dysfunction in forearm resistance vessels of migraine patients.
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