Blood pressure and allodynic migraine

C. Lovati, M. Zardoni, D. D'Amico, L. Giani, L. Scandiani, P. Bertora, M. Cortellaro, G. Bussone, C. Mariani

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Background: the transformation from an episodic form of migraine to a chronic and invalidating form is under investigation to put in evidence possible factors able to enhance this progression. A number of studies found an association between hypertension and migraine chronification and this observation induced the hypothesis that hypertension may possibly modify the vascular wall and the endothelial function in the cerebral vasculature. Allodynia, the perception of pain by non-painful stimuli, is considered as a marker of migraine transformation. Objective: In our study, we planned to investigate presence of headache in patients that underwent a blood pressure 24 hours monitoring. The aim of the study was to assess the distribution of headache and allodynia in this particular population and to investigate possible relationships between the presence of headache and blood pressure pattern, including its circadian rhythm. Materials and Methods: Population: 195 subjects; among them, 122 did not suffer from headache (mean age 60.4 ± 11.6 years, 78 men and 44 women) and 73 with history of headache, (mean age 54.2 ± 12.5 years, 18 men and 55 women) of which 51 migraineurs (Mig) (mean age 52.6 ± 11.7 years, 11 men and 40 women) and 22 with tension type headache (TTH - mean age 58.0 ± 13.5 years, 7 men and 15 women). Among headache patients, allodynia was found in 23 out of 51 migraineurs and in 7 out of 22 tension-type headache. Headache diagnosis was made according to ICHD-II criteria. Presence of allodynia and sleep behavior were evaluated through semi-structured ad hoc questionnaires. Blood pressure 24hours monitoring was performed by an Ambulatory Blood Pressure (ABP) Monitor (Space Labs) with its ad hoc software. Results: No significant difference was observed between headache patients and subjects without headache in terms of mean systolic and diastolic pressure, neither between migraine and TTH. With regard to the circadian rhythm of the blood pressure we observed that the physiological reduction of blood pressure during night (dipping) was more conserved among headache patients (34 dippers out of 73 subjects) with respect to subjects without headache (40 dippers out of 122) and that this border-line difference was more strongly significant comparing allodynic subjects (19 dippers out of 30) with both non-headache (40 dippers out of 122 , p

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHeadaches: Causes, Treatment and Prevention
PublisherNova Science Publishers, Inc.
Number of pages12
ISBN (Print)9781621008637
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2012


  • Allodynia
  • Blood pressure
  • Dippers
  • Headache
  • Migraine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)


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