Cerebrospinal Fluid Sodium Concentration May Be Elevated in Patients With Migraine

MRI scans of the brain
MRI scans of the brain
Patients who experience migraines may have higher cerebral sodium concentrations than nonmigraineurs.

Patients who experience migraines may have higher cerebral sodium concentrations than individuals who do not present with migraine, according to a study presented at the Radiological Society of North America’s 2017 annual meeting held November 26 to December 1 in Chicago, Illinois.

Researchers administered a questionnaire to 12 patients with migraine (100% women; mean age, 34±11) and 12 healthy control patients to evaluate the onset, frequency, length, and intensity (on a 1 to 10 scale) of migraine attacks and associated aura. The investigators used 3.0 Tesla 23sodium (Na)‐magnetic resonance imaging to assess cerebral Na concentrations.

Researchers used a double-tuned (1H/23Na) dedicated head coil to obtain a 3-dimensional density‐adapted radial gradient echo (GRE) sequence for 23Na imaging, and a non-contrast enhanced T1-weighted magnetization-prepared acquisition GRE (MP-RAGE) sequence for anatomic referencing. 23Na sequences were reconstructed and 23Na concentrations were determined within circular regions of interest in the anterior and posterior cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) regions, brain stem and cerebellum, and grey and white matter.

The overall 23Na concentration was found to be higher in the anterior cerebrospinal fluid region of patients with migraine compared with healthy controls (79±7 mmol/L vs 69±4 mmol/L, respectively; P =.0001). Concentrations of 23Na were also higher in the posterior CSF region of patients with migraine vs healthy controls (85±6 mmol/L vs 63±8 mmol/L, respectively; P =.0013), but were comparable in the brain stem, cerebellum, and white and grey matter of both groups.

Based on the findings, the investigators suggest that “cerebral 23Na MRI may be a potential imaging tool for the diagnosis of migraine.”

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Meyer M, Schmidt A, Benrath J, et al. Cerebral sodium (23Na) magnetic resonance imaging in patients with migraine vs. healthy controls. Presented at: RSNA 2017; November 26-December 1, 2017; Chicago, IL. Abstract SSG11‐03.