SEATTLE, Feb. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Stroke patients who also have a history of migraine headaches have reported that their migraines stopped or were significantly reduced following a closure procedure of a common heart defect, called Patent Foramen Ovale, according to a study published in the February 15, 2005 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology.
Patent Foramen Ovale (PFO) is a small hole in the heart. The presence of this hole is normal during fetal development when the fetal blood supply is being enriched and oxygenated by in the mother's lungs. The hole generally closes shortly after birth. However, in approximately 25% of the general population, they fail to close completely and become a persistent PFO into adulthood. In these cases, this provides an opportunity for venous blood that is returning to the heart, exhausted of oxygen and other nutrients that it would be replenished from circulating through the lungs, to cross over to the arterial side prematurely (before circulating through the lungs) and then be pumped back into the arterial circulation and the brain. This unfiltered venous blood circulating into the brain is the suspected corollary that sparks the migraine event.
The study, lead by cardiologist Dr. Mark Reisman, showed that patients that suffer from migraines with aura are twice as likely to have a PFO, compared to the general population. During a two year period, researchers examined 162 patients who had experienced unexplained stroke-like symptoms, and after confirming the presence of a high-grade PFO using the PMD100 transcranial ultrasound system, all patients underwent transcatheter closure of the PFO. A one-year follow-up after the PFO closure showed 56% (28/50) of patients had complete resolution of migraine symptoms, and 14% (7/50) reported a significant reduction in migraine frequency.
Spencer Technologies, a Seattle manufacturing company, developed the PMD100 transcranial ultrasound system used in the study to assist in the PFO diagnosis, as well as post-closure follow-up.
"The PMD100, bar none, is the simplest and most accurate device to diagnose PFO," stated Dr. Merrill Spencer, medical director for Spencer Vascular and researcher in the PFO-migraine study. "It is the only modality with a proven grading scale, which helps the physician determine if a PFO can and should be closed."
About Spencer Technologies
Spencer Technologies was co-founded in 1992 by Dr. Merrill Spencer, a pioneer in the development of diagnostic ultrasound. Spencer Technologies is dedicated to preventing a variety of adverse cardiovascular related events, including strokes, and significantly improving healthcare through the development and use of non-invasive ultrasound technologies for diagnosis, monitoring, and therapeutic effects. Spencer Technologies is involved in all aspects of ultrasound through clinical research, R & D, and manufacturing products.
To view supporting video footage: http://www.scctv.net/scctv/spencertech.asx .