Eye Blood Flow Could Be Marker for Migraine

Findings seen for migraine patients with or without aura symptoms
Eye Blood Flow Could Be Marker for Migraine
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Medically Reviewed By:
Mark Arredondo, M.D.

WEDNESDAY, Jan. 17, 2024 (HealthDay News) -- Blood flow appears to be reduced in the eye during migraine attacks, according to a study published online Nov. 30 in Headache: The Journal of Head and Face Pain.

Katherine Podraza, M.D., Ph.D., from the University of California, Los Angeles, and colleagues used optical coherence tomography angiography (OCTA) to determine if there are changes in structure and function of the retinal vasculature during and between migraine attacks. The analysis included 37 patients with migraine with aura (MA), 30 with migraine without aura (MO), and 20 healthy controls.

The researchers found a significant difference in the parafoveal vessel flux index (VFI) in the ictal state between the groups. There was a significant reduction in the parafoveal region VFI in MA during migraine attacks (−7 percent), as well as in MO (−7 percent) from their interictal baseline compared with controls. The MA group experienced a mean 13 percent lower blood perfusion interictally in the foveal region compared with the MO group. There was also higher circularity in the superficial foveal avascular zone in the MA group versus the MO group. Compared with the contralateral eye, patients with MA or MO and unilateral headache showed increased retinal vascular parameters consistent with greater perfusion in the eye ipsilateral to the side of the pain.

"These results indicate that changes in retinal perfusion could be a part of migraine pathophysiology, and that distinct retinal vascular signatures identified with OCTA could represent biomarkers for migraine," the authors write.

Several authors disclosed ties to industry.

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