Migraine, stroke and patent foramen ovale: A dangerous trio?

Gianfranco Butera, Elio Agostoni, Giuseppe Biondi-Zoccai, Nereo Bresolin, Lorenzo Fumagalli, Massimo Chessa, Andrea Gallanti, Paolo Scacciatela, Mario Carminati

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The relationship between migraine, stroke and patent foramen ovale (PFO) has been the subject of considerable research efforts. Indeed, a lot of interest has focused on the potential benefits of percutaneous PFO closure. The aim of this article is to review data from the currently available literature. A total of 10 relevant studies were found in the literature, for a total of 1038 patients undergoing percutaneous PFO closure after events of cryptogenic stroke. Thirty-eight percent of these patients suffered from migraine. Combining the results of the available studies, 72% of patients were cured or improved significantly. Analysing the results according to migraine type, 81% of patients with migraine with aura had complete resolution or significantly improved as compared to 72% of patients with migraine without aura. Several limitations and drawbacks exist, however, and they are extensively discussed in this paper.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)233-238
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Cardiovascular Medicine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2008


  • Migraine
  • Patent foramen ovale
  • Stroke
  • Transcatheter closure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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