Clinical implications of patent foramen ovale in migraine with aura

Pasquale Marchione, Natascia Ghiotto, Grazia Sances, Elena Guaschino, Daniele Bosone, Giuseppe Nappi, Patrizia Giacomini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The high incidence of patent foramen ovale (PFO) in migraine with aura (MWA) is well known. In this study we evaluated the relationship between PFO and aura features, and the relative impact of this association on stroke risk. We recruited patients with a diagnosis of MWA. PFO was assessed by contrast transcranial Doppler and confirmed by transoesophageal echocardiography. The 65 patients enrolled were divided into two groups on the basis of the clinical features of their aura: typical in 63.1% (Group 1) and atypical in 36.9% (Group 2). A statistically significant difference was found in PFO prevalence between the two groups (46.3% in Group 1 and 79.2% in Group 2; p=0.009). We did not observe any statistical difference between the two groups in the prevalence of classic stroke risk factors or in the profile of the thrombophilic markers. Our results underline the need to look for PFO particularly in subjects with atypical features of aura, but the underlying pathophysiology of the association is not clear.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-205
Number of pages5
JournalFunctional Neurology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2008


  • Migraine with aura
  • Patent foramen ovale
  • Prolonged aura
  • Transcranial doppler

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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