Migraine headaches following catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation
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Atrial septal defects (ASD), including patent foramen ovale, have been linked to an increased prevalence of migraine headaches in the general population. A similar association with migraine is speculated for iatrogenic ASD due to atrial septal puncture during catheter ablation for atrial fibrillation (AF).
A total of 2,069 patients who underwent catheter ablation for AF at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN between January 2001 and December 2008 were scheduled for follow-up at least at 3 months and annually thereafter. Data were collected from the questionnaires patients answered at follow-up inquiring about presence and characteristics of any headaches following the procedure and further chart review. Definite migraine was diagnosed based on clinical features per the International Classification of Headache Disorder-II definition.
Twenty-two patients (1.1%) had a new-onset definite migraine, 12 (0.6%) had a new-onset probable migraine, ten (0.5%) with a previous history of migraine had worsened headaches, and four (0.2%) had headache due to an alternate identifiable cause; a total of 48 patients (2.3%) reported post-procedural headaches. Nineteen of 22 patients (86%) with definite migraine had complete resolution of symptoms at 1- to 2-year follow-up.
New-onset migraine is an uncommon and usually temporary side effect of catheter ablation for AF. The mechanism for post-procedure headache remains unclear.
KeywordsMigraine Atrial fibrillation Catheter ablation Patent foramen ovale Atrial septal defect Follow-up
Atrial septal defect
Patent foramen ovale
Conflicts of interest
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