Skip to main content

Migraine of gastrointestinal origin


A consecutive series of 31 children (median age 12 years) suffering from migraine with (n=21) or without (n=10) aura underwent endoscopic oesophageal, gastric and duodenal biopsy in order to determine whether the complaints were of gastro-intestinal origin. Of these 31 children, 13 (41.9%) showed oesophagitis, 16 (51.6%) gastritis of corpus, 12 (38.7%) antral gastritis and 27 (87.1%) duodenitis. Thus, 29 of the 31 children studied had an underlying inflammatory lesion explaining their complaints.Helicobacter pylori colonization was found in 7 of the children: one hadH. pylori associated antral and corporal gastritis and 6H. pylori associated antral gastritis only. Gastritis of corpus withoutH. pylori was present in all these 6 children. Our data do not support thatH. pylori is a primary pathogen of inflammatory changes seen in children studied, neither do they establish an association betweenH. pylori, antral gastritis and migraine. However, our data strongly suggest that there is a gastro-intestinal origin of these patients' complaints.


Our findings provide further evidence that recurrent abdominal pain is an early expression of migraine and strongly support a causal link between recurrent abdominal pain and migraine.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.



tripotassium dicitratobismuthate


  1. 1.

    Amery WK, Waelkens J, Caers I (1986) Dopaminergic mechanism in premonitory phenomena. In: Amery WA, Wauquier A (eds) The prelude to the migraine attack. Bailliere Tindall, London, pp 64–77

    Google Scholar 

  2. 2.

    Bille B (1962) Migraine in school children. Acta Paediatr Scand 51 [Suppl 136]:3–151

    Google Scholar 

  3. 3.

    Blau JN (1992) Migraine: theories of pathogenesis. Lancet 339:1202–1207

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  4. 4.

    Burnett RA, Brown IL, Findlay J (1987) Cresyl fast violet staining method for Campylobacter-like organisms. J Clin Pathol 40:353

    Google Scholar 

  5. 5.

    Congdon PJ, Forsythe WI (1979) Migraine in childhood. Dev Med Child Neurol 21:209–216

    Google Scholar 

  6. 6.

    Eadie MJ, Tyrer JN (1985) The biochemistry of migraine. MTP Press, Lancaster, pp 1–216

    Google Scholar 

  7. 7.

    Graham JR (1956) Treatment of migraine. N Engl J Med Med Progr Series. Boston (Cited by Salmon 1986)

  8. 8.

    Headache Classification Committee of the International Headache Society (1988) Classification and diagnostic criteria for headache disorders, neuralgias and facial pain. Cephalalgia 8 [Suppl 7]:1–96

    Google Scholar 

  9. 9.

    Hockaday JM (1979) Basilar migraine in childhood. Dev Med Child Neurol 21:204–216

    Google Scholar 

  10. 10.

    Hockaday JM (1983) Epidemiology of migraine in childhood. In: Wilson J (ed) Migraine in childhood. The Medicine Publishing Foundation, Oxford pp 5–7

    Google Scholar 

  11. 11.

    Hockaday JM (1987) Migraine and its equivalent in childhood. Dev Med Child Neuro 29:265–270

    Google Scholar 

  12. 12.

    Klein KB, Mellinkoff SM (1991) Approach to the patient with abdominal pain In: Yamada T (ed) Textbook of gastroenterology, vol. 1. JB Lippinkott Company, Philadelphia, pp 660–681

    Google Scholar 

  13. 13.

    Lance JW (1992) Treatment of migraine. Lancet 339:1207–1209

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  14. 14.

    Mavromichalis I, Zaramboukas T, Richman PI, Slavin G (1992) Recurrent abdominal pain of gastro-intestinal origin. Eur J Pediatr 151:560–563

    Article  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  15. 15.

    McGormic KJ (1980) Recurrent abdominal pain in childhood. BMJ 151:280–1377

    Google Scholar 

  16. 16.

    Misiewicz JJ, Bartram CI, Cotton PB, Mee AS, Price AB, Thompson RPH (1986) Gastroenterology vol. I, diseases of the oesophagus, stomach and duodenum: a guide to diagnosis. Gower Medical Publishing, London

    Google Scholar 

  17. 17.

    Oderda G, Vaira D, Holton J, Dowsett JF, Ansaldi N (1989) Serum pepsinogen I to campylobacter pylori in nonspecific abdominal pain in childhood. Gut 30:912–916

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  18. 18.

    Plum F, Van Uitert R (1978) Nonendocrine diseases and disorders of the hypothalamus In: Reichlin S, Baldessarini PJ, Martin JB (eds) The hypothalamus. Raven Press, New York, pp 415–473

    Google Scholar 

  19. 19.

    Prensky AL, Sommer D (1979) Diagnosis and treatment of migraine in children. Neurology 29:506–510

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  20. 20.

    Price AB (1991) The Sydney system: histologic division. J Gastroenterol Hepatol 6:209–222

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  21. 21.

    Sacks OW (1970) Migraine: evolution of a common disorder. Faber and Faber, London

    Google Scholar 

  22. 22.

    Salmon MA (1986) Diagnosis and treatment of childhood migraine. In: Lance JW (ed) Recent trends in the management of migraine. Sandoz Symposium at the 6th International Migraine Symposium, London, pp 34–43

  23. 23.

    Sillanpaa M (1983) Changes in the prevalence of migraine and other headaches during the first seven school years. Headache 23:15–19

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  24. 24.

    Szonyi L, Rakoczy G, Zoos A, Szentmihalyi A, Malnar G (1992) Studying the role of Helicobacter pylori infection in recurrent abdominal pain in children. Orv Hetil 133:1371–1373

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  25. 25.

    Van der Meer SB, Forget PP, Arends JW (1990) Abnormal small bowel permeability and duodenitis in recurrent abdominal pain. Arch Dis Child 65:1311–1319

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  26. 26.

    Van der Meer SB, Forget PP, Kuijten RH, Arends JW (1992) Gastroeosophageal reflux in children with recurrent abdominal pain. Acta Pediatr 81:137–140

    Google Scholar 

  27. 27.

    Way LW (1989) Abdominal pain In: Sleisenger MH, Fordtran JS (eds) Gastrointestinal disease Pathophysiology, diagnosis, management, 4th edn. WB Saunders, Philadelphia pp 238–250

    Google Scholar 

  28. 28.

    Whitehead R, Truelore SC, Gear MWL (1972) The histological diagnosis of chronic gastritis in fibroptic gastroscope biopsy specimens. J Clin Pathol 25:1–11

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  29. 29.

    Whitehead R, Roca M, Meikle DD, Skinner J, Truelore SC (1975) The histological classification of duodenitis in fibroptic biopsy specimens. Digestion 13:129–136

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  30. 30.

    Wilson J (1983) Migraine in childhood. The Medicine Publishing Foundation, Oxford, pp 20–21

    Google Scholar 

  31. 31.

    Wilson J (1983) Introduction. In: Wilson J (ed) Migraine in childhood. The Medicine Publishing Foundation, Oxford, pp: v

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to I. Mavromichalis.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Mavromichalis, I., Zaramboukas, T. & Giala, M.M. Migraine of gastrointestinal origin. Eur J Pediatr 154, 406–410 (1995).

Download citation

Key words

  • Migraine
  • Recurrent abdominal pain
  • Duodenitis
  • Gastritis
  • Oesophagitis