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J Stroke Cerebrovasc Dis. 1994;4(1):36-41. doi: 10.1016/S1052-3057(10)80144-2. Epub 2010 Jun 11.

Migraine and vertebrobasilar dissection: Case reports.

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From the Department of Neurology and Neurological Sciences, Stanford University Medical Center, Stanford, CA, U.S.A.
The Department Neurosurgery, Stanford University Medical Center, Stanford, CA, U.S.A.
The Department Radiology, Stanford University Medical Center, Stanford, CA, U.S.A.


We report two patients with chronic migraine headaches who developed vertebrobasilar arterial dissections. In both cases, there was a change in both the character and location of the headaches, which prompted further evaluation with magnetic resonance imaging and angiography, which led to the diagnosis. Other possible risk factors for dissection in these patients included hypertension, exercise, and chiropractic manipulation. Both patients were treated with anticoagulation and recovered with little to no neurologic deficit. A review of the literature relating migraine and arterial dissection suggests that there may be an association. Although more extensive controlled studies are needed to demonstrate the significance of this association, we suggest that the diagnosis of cervicocranial arterial dissection be strongly considered in migraine patients who develop an abrupt change in the nature of their headaches.

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