Computerized axial tomography findings in a group of patients with migrainous headaches

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Computerized axial tomography of the cranium has been carried out in 46 patients referred because of recurring migrainous headaches. Increasing frequency or severity of headaches or a change in headache pattern were the usual reasons for referral. Abnormalities were found in 37 cases and fell into 4 categories. The most frequent (21 cases) consisted of a mild degree of edema in the white matter of 1 or both cerebral hemispheres. This was usually bifrontal (15 patients) but was more extensive in 2 patients. Varying degrees of cerebral atrophy, as determined by widening of the Sylvian, brain stem and interhemispheric cisterns, and/or widening of the 3rd and lateral ventricles as compared to a group of normal scans, was found in 8 cases. Areas of occipital infarction were found in 4 patients with permanent visual field defects. Unexpected small areas of infarction were found in the temporal lobe in 2 other cases. Cerebral tumors were found in 2 cases. The significance of these findings is discussed, as well as the possible role of migrainous vasospasm with consequent changes in cerebral blood flow in the pathogenesis of edema and atrophy in migraine subjects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)35-41
Number of pages7
JournalProceedings of the Australian Association of Neurologists
Publication statusPublished - 1976
Externally publishedYes


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