Coincidental impact of transcatheter patent foramen ovale closure on migraine with and without aura - A comprehensive meta-analysis

Siddak M. Kanwar, Amit Noheria, Christopher V. Desimone, Alejandro A. Rabinstein, Samuel J. Asirvatham

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Background We analyzed the literature to assess the coincidental impact on migraines of transcatheter patent foramen ovale (PFO) closure performed for secondary stroke prevention. Methods We searched Medline, EMBASE, and the Cochrane database for studies published up until August 2013. We included English-language studies that provided information on complete resolution or improvement in migraine headaches following PFO closure. Two study authors identified 375 original articles and both independently reviewed 32 relevant manuscripts. Data including study methodology, inclusion criteria, PFO closure and migraine outcomes were extracted manually from all eligible studies. Pooled odds (and probability) of resolution or improvement of migraine headaches were calculated using random-effects models. Results Twenty studies were analyzed. Most were uncontrolled studies that included a small number of patients with cryptogenic stroke who had undergone PFO closure and had variable time of follow-up. The probability of complete resolution of migraine with PFO closure (18 studies, 917 patients) was 0.46 (95% confidence interval 0.39, 0.53) and of any improvement in migraine (17 studies, 881 patients) was 0.78 (0.74, 0.82). There was evidence for publication bias in studies reporting on improvement in migraines (Begg's p = 0.002), but not for studies on complete resolution of migraine (p = 0.3). In patients with aura, the probability of complete resolution of migraine post-PFO closure was 0.54 (0.43, 0.65), and in those without aura, complete resolution occurred in 0.39 (0.29, 0.51). Conclusions Among patients with unexplained stroke and migraine undergoing transcatheter PFO closure, resolution of headaches occurred in a majority of patients with aura and for a smaller proportion of patients without aura.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)7-13
Number of pages7
JournalClinical Trials and Regulatory Science in Cardiology
StatePublished - Mar 1 2016


  • Migraine
  • Patent foramen ovale
  • Transcatheter closure

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


Dive into the research topics of 'Coincidental impact of transcatheter patent foramen ovale closure on migraine with and without aura - A comprehensive meta-analysis'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this