a case–control study using high-resolution magnetic resonance angiography
BACKGROUND: The circle of Willis is an important source of collateral blood flow to maintain adequate cerebral perfusion, particularly in the posterior circulation. Some studies report a relationship between incomplete circle of Willis and migraine, whereas other studies show no difference between the prevalence of incomplete circle of Willis in migraineurs and controls. In the present study we compared the prevalence of incomplete circle of Willis in female migraine patients without aura to female healthy non-migraine controls.Using 3-Tesla magnetic resonance angiography we recorded three-dimensional time-of-flight angiograms in 85 female participants (48 migraine patients without aura [median age 28 years] and 37 healthy controls [median age 25 years]). The images were subsequently analysed blindly by a neuroradiologist to detect incomplete circle of Willis. FINDINGS: We found no difference between the prevalence of incomplete circle of Willis in patients, 20/47 (43%), and controls, 15/37 (41%), p = 0.252. Post hoc analysis showed a significant relationship between age and prevalence of incomplete circle of Willis, p = 0.003. CONCLUSION: We found no relationship between migraine without aura and incomplete circle of Willis.
Journal of Headache and Pain, 2014, Vol 15, p. 1-4