, Volume 34, Issue 8, pp 1397-1402
Date: 23 Nov 2012

Cutaneous allodynia in patients with episodic migraine

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Cutaneous allodynia may be observed in patients with migraine and this reflects the central sensitization of the trigeminal neurons. We aimed to investigate the frequency of cutaneous allodynia in patients with episodic migraine and to compare clinical characteristics of migraine patients with and without allodynia. One hundred and eighty-six consecutive patients with episodic migraine attacks were prospectively included in the study. The cutaneous allodynia symptoms that occurred during headache attacks were documented using a questionnaire for assessing cephalic and extracephalic cutaneous allodynia. One hundred and fourteen patients (61.3 %) were observed to develop allodynia during migraine attacks and the ratio of the female gender was found higher among the patients with allodynia (p < 0.001). Migraine disease duration was longer (p = 0.004) and accompanying nausea and phonophobia were more common (p = 0.003 and p = 0.005, respectively) in the patients with allodynia. Menstrually related migraine was found to be associated with both allodynia (p = 0.049) and its severity (p = 0.003). The results of present study revealed that cutaneous allodynia was rather frequent in episodic migraine, particularly in patients having longer disease duration. Higher frequency of allodynia in women and its association with menstrually related migraine may be related to the effects of hormonal factors on cutaneous pain thresholds and central sensitization. Association of nausea and phonophobia with allodynia may be interpreted as the common pathways are shared in the development of these symptoms.