Both vascular and neuronal mechanisms are the main foci of investigation in defining the pathophysiology of migraine attacks. This study was designed to evaluate the possible role of nitric oxide (NO) in migraine patients in the natural course of unprovoked attacks and attack-free periods. The mean plasma nitrite levels of 26 migraine patients during attacks and attack-free periods were compared within group and with those of 26 healthy controls. Plasma total nitrite levels were measured by Greiss reaction. Mean plasma total nitrite levels of migraine patients during attacks and attack-free periods and of controls were 36.5±7.5 Î¼mol/l, 27.81±4.8 Î¼mol/l and 25.19±4.1 Î¼mol/l, respectively. These results demonstrated that total nitrite levels during attacks were significantly higher in migraineurs than both during attack-free periods and those of controls (P=0.001 and P=0.001, respectively). No significant difference was observed between migraineurs during attack-free periods and controls in this regard (P=0.534). Based on these results, we suggest that NO pathway may play a key role in the pathogenesis of migraine attacks.
Etiopathogenesis; migraine; nitric oxide; serum total nitrite levels