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Front Neurol


Heart Rate Variability Analysis in Episodic Migraine: A Cross-Sectional Study.


Zhang L, Qiu S, Zhao C, Wang P, Yu S
Front Neurol. 2021; 12:647092.
PMID: 33833731.


It has been reported that autonomic nervous dysfunction is more prevalent in migraineurs. Heart rate variability (HRV) is a commonly used method to evaluate the cardiac autonomic nervous function modulation. However, HRV changes in migraine are still contradictory. The main objective of this study was to explore the potential HRV change patterns in episodic migraine (EM) and whether there were differences in HRV between EM ictal period and the interictal period. We conducted a cross-sectional study including 18 patients with EM and 18 age- and sex-matched controls. The characteristics of demographics, some lifestyle factors, and psychological conditions were assessed at baseline. HRVs including time-domain analysis and frequency-domain analysis were performed in all participants. HRV analyses in migraine were recorded not only in the interictal period but also in the ictal period. All the HRV parameters showed a decreased trend in migraine than controls. Time-domain parameters standard deviation of all NN intervals in 24 h (SDNN) and triangular index were significantly lower in the migraine ictal period than controls separately (SDNN, 56.94 ± 22.09 ± 7.76 vs. 135.78 ± 35.16, < 0.001; triangular index, 12.61 ± 3.20 vs. 22.11 ± 6.90, < 0.001). Frequency-domain parameter low-frequency power was also lower in the migraine ictal period than controls (351.28 ± 206.71 vs. 559.61 ± 281.24, = 0.02). SDNN was much lower in the migraine ictal period than migraine interictal period (56.94 ± 22.09 vs. 115.94 ± 46.88, < 0.001). HRV changes during migraine interictal period did not differ from the control group. The correlation analysis revealed a negative correlation between visual analog scale and HRV parameters in the migraine ictal period ( = 0.04). The present cross-sectional study indicates that HRV was significantly decreased in EM population especially during the migraine ictal period, which means unbalance of autonomic system in EM. Perhaps larger prospective cohort studies are wanted to validate these findings.