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PFO Closure has significant impact on Migraine

Posted by iskanbasal on July 19, 2007

I have forgotten it completely, this  association between Migraine and the Patent foramen ovale, PFO. In migraineurs there is a higher probability to find PFO, a cardiac defect or a flap-like opening in the atrial septal wall which is also present in 27% of the general population. I’m aware about the association of PFO and ischemic stroke; PFO cause right to left shunting of venous blood in the heart between the right and left atrium bypassing the lungs. See the opened foramen in this image from the cleveland clinic, see the flux of blood through it. Now the closure of the defect is associated with a more than 50% reduction of migraine headache episodes in patients suffering of migrain. These are results of the trial MIST. PFO closure is performed using the STARFlex septal repair, a catheter-based minimally invasive interventional cardiology procedure.

I have some  interesting reference I got from the primary care neurology society which I would like to keep here for any future interest.

(escuse me english errors).


1. Wilmshurst P, Bryson P. Relationship between the clinical features of neurological decompression illness and its causes. Clinical Science 2000; 99:65-75.

2. Post MC, Thijs V, Herroelen L et al. Closure of a patent foramen ovale is associated with a decrease in prevalence of migraine. Neurology 2004;62:1439–40.

3. Schwerzmann M, Wiher S, Nedeltchev K et al. Percutaneous closure of patent foramen ovale reduces the frequency of migraine attacks.Neurology 2004;62:1399–401.

4. Wilmshurst PT, Nightingale S, Walsh KP et al. Effect on migraine of closure of cardiac right-to-left shunts to prevent recurrence of decompression illness or stroke or for haemodynamic reasons. Lancet 2000;356:1648–51.

5. Morandi E, Anzola GP, Angeli S et al. Transcatheter closure of patent foramen ovale: a new migraine treatment? J Intervent Cardiol 2003;16:39–42.

6. Reisman M, Jesurum J, Spencer M et al. Migraine relief following transcatheter closure of patent foramen ovale. American College of Cardiology Abstract. JACC 2004 March 3;43(5) Supplement A:376A.

7. Azarbal B, Tobis J et al. Association of interatrial shunts and migraine headaches. JACC 45(4) 2005; 489–92.

8. Reisman M, Christofferson RD, Jesurum J et al. Migraine headache relief after transcatheter closure of patent foramen ovale. JACC 45 2005: 493–5.

9. Wilmshurst P, Pearson M, Nightingale S. Reevaluation of the relationship between migraine and persistent foramen ovale and other right-to-left shunts. Clinical Science2005;108:365–367.


One Response to “PFO Closure has significant impact on Migraine”

  1. Emma Jones said

    Very nice article on migraines. Thanks for the great tips!

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