Objective To report biphasic changes in cerebral blood flow (CBF) in the acute phase of hemiplegic migraine with prolonged aura (HMPA), in which aura symptoms lasted longer than 24 h, in three patients with familial hemiplegic migraine (FHM) carrying a p.H916L mutation in ATP1A2 gene.
Methods We assessed neurovascular changes with time in the affected cerebral hemisphere corresponding to aura symptoms during the acute phase of HMPA. Arterial spin labelling MRI, SPECT for CBF measurement and EEG in three attacks, in one attack FDG-PET measurement for cerebral metabolism was performed. We evaluated CBF at different phases of aura symptoms in 11 attacks of HMPA.
Results In two attacks, we found biphasic CBF changes beginning with hypoperfusion followed by persistent hyperperfusion. FDG-PET revealed increased cerebral glucose metabolism in the regions corresponding to hyperperfusion on day 4 when aura symptoms still persisted. In four attacks, Z-score-based CBF mapping revealed multifocal hypoperfusion in the early phase. Hypoperfusion in our study was seen within 19 h of the onset of the symptoms in five of seven attacks, while hyperperfusion was seen 18 h or later in eight of nine attacks. EEG showed attenuated alpha activity without paroxysmal discharge.
Conclusions This is the first report showing biphasic CBF changes during the prolonged aura of FHM2. This study suggested that the results of cross-sectional CBF studies should be interpreted carefully. Initial multifocal hypoperfusion is likely due to functional depression of multifocal origin in the affected hemisphere, but the mechanism of persistent hyperperfusion requires further investigation.