Migraine: A look down the nose.
Muehlberger T., Wormald JCR., Hachach-Haram N., Mosahebi A.
BACKGROUND: Studies have suggested that contact between opposing mucosal surfaces in the nasal wall and cavity can be a target of the surgical treatment of migraines. Unfortunately, not enough is known about the role of nasal pathology in the pathogenesis of this condition. The co-existence of further rhinological disorders can be an impediment to defining the cause and effect of anatomical variants. The authors compared the MRI scans of migraine- and non-migraine patients (MPs and NMPs, respectively) to determine the prevalence of such mucosal contact points in order to extrapolate whether there is a significant association with migraines. METHODS: Coronal and axial MRI brain scans of 522 patients (412 migraineurs and 110 non-migraineurs) were analysed for the prevalence of anatomical variations of the nasal cavity, e.g. concha bullosa, septal deviations, mucosal swelling and contact points. RESULTS: The results showed no significant difference between MPs and NMPs patients for any of the parameters examined. Moreover, 87% MPs and 79% NMPs had at least one contact point. The most frequent contact point was between the middle turbinate and the septum, observed in 54% of MPs and 45% of NMPs. CONCLUSIONS: Contact points with the nasal mucosa are highly prevalent in both MPs and NMPs. Although a contact point does not cause a migraine in the absence of the disease, the concomitant presence of migraine and contact points can trigger an attack, and therefore, it is necessary to differentiate or exclude a rhinological disorder in these patients.