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Increased baroreflex sensitivity and heart rate variability in migraine patients

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Nilsen KB, Tronvik E, Sand T, Gravdahl GB, Stovner LJ. Increased baroreflex sensitivity and heart rate variability in migraine patients.

Acta Neurol Scand 2009: 120: 418–423.

© 2009 The Authors Journal compilation © 2009 Blackwell Munksgaard. Objectives – 

We investigated whether spontaneous baroreflex sensitivity and heart rate variability (HRV) are different in migraine patients compared to healthy controls. Material and methods – 

Sixteen female migraine patients without aura aged 18–30 years and 14 age-matched healthy female controls were included. Continuous finger blood pressure and ECG were measured supine during paced breathing in the laboratory. Continuous finger blood pressure was measured the following 24-h period. Spontaneous baroreflex sensitivity (time-domain cross correlation baroreflex sensitivity) as well as HRV parameters were calculated. Results – 

Spontaneous baroreflex sensitivity measured in the 24-h period was increased in patients (20.6 ms/mmHg) compared to controls (15.7 ms/mmHg, P = 0.031). HRV parameters were increased during paced breathing in patients (P < 0.045). Conclusions – 

The results suggest that central hypersensitivity in migraine also includes cardiovascular reactivity and may be important for the understanding of the mechanisms for the effect of antihypertensive drugs for migraine prophylaxis.

Keywords: BRS; ECG; MWoA; autonomic nervous system; blood pressure; headache

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2009-12-01

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