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eISSN: 1643-3750

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Autonomic dysfunction and cardiac repolarization abnormalities in patients with migraine attacks

Ismet M. Melek, Ergun Seyfeli, Mehmet Duru, Ta┼čkin Duman, Ferit Akgul, Fatih Yalcin

Med Sci Monit 2007; 13(3): RA47-49

ID: 475684


The clinical symptoms of migraine are widely accepted to be related to the involvement of the autonomic nervous system, and especially to dysfunction in the regulation of the circulatory system and autonomic balance. Disturbance of the autonomic nervous system is a primary characteristic of migraine Therefore, patients with migraine have a variety of symptoms, such as vasodilatation (fl ushing), pilo-erection, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, cutaneous vasoconstriction (pallor), and diaphoresis. The electrocardiographic changes seen during a migraine attack compared with the pain-free period could be secondary to reversible disturbances of the state of autonomic innervation of the heart and coronary arteries. Dysfunction of ANS may affect atrial and ventricular repolarization. For instance, increased sympathetic activity causes sinus tachycardia, but increased parasympathetic activity causes sinus bradycardia, atrioventricular block, and ST-segment and T-wave abnormalities. Comprehensive electrocardiographic analyses have been providing more details in terms of the detection of abnormalities in atrial and ventricular repolarization which potentially may result in arrhythmias in patients with migraine. However, there is no information in literature
reporting the frequency of cardiac arrhythmias in migraine patients who had cardiac repolarization abnormalities. In this review, detailed electrocardiographic fi ndings and their relation with the autonomic nervous system, including recent observations, have been evaluated. However, further studies are needed to investigate the association between autonomic dysregulation and cardiac repolarization abnormalities in patients with migraine.

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