Closing Hole in Heart to Treat Migraine: PFO Closure Study Findings Not Promising

pfo closure migraine study

Studies linking migraine with a hole in one’s heart have been big news in recent years. Preliminary studies showed promise. Results from a large trial, MIST-I (Migraine Intervention With STARFlex Technology), are finally available — and they aren’t good. Researchers concluded that “no significant effect was found for primary or secondary end points.

Background
The hole, called a patent foramen ovale (or, more commonly, PFO), is an opening between the upper chambers of one’s heart. Some migraineurs who had PFOs closed for another reason reported that their migraine attacks stopped or were much less frequent after the surgery.

The hole is present in fetuses to allow blood to pass from one side to the other. In most people, the gap closes at or after birth. For an estimated 25% of the US population, it doesn’t close completely and the PFO forms. This remaining tunnel functions as a valve. Normally the valve is shut, but sometimes remains open, sending blood that’s supposed to go to the lungs off to the brain and other parts of the body.

MIST Study Findings
My head is too bad to give a good summary, so here’s what cardiologist and blogger Dr. Wes had to say:

This week’s Circulation (on-line version) released the much anticipated MIST trial (Migraine Intervention With STARFlex Technology) results which randomized 147 patients with a moderate to large PFOs between implantation of a STARFlex PFO closure device and a sham (or placebo) procedure.

The study’s primary efficacy end point was migraine headache cessation during the analysis phase. It was derived from diary data.

Secondary efficacy comparisons were incidence of migraine during the healing phase; change in the severity of migraine attacks based on MIDAS (over a 3-month retrospective period) and headache impact test (HIT-6) (over a 1-month retrospective period) scores; change in the frequency of migraine attacks other than elimination of attacks; change in the characteristics of migraine (with or without aura and change thereof); change in the severity, frequency, and character of migraine relative to effective closure rate or presence of residual leak; and change in quality of life based on the SF-36 questionnaire (over a 1-month retrospective period).

Dr. Wes notes that Peter Wilmshurst, one of the original main lead researchers is not included in the manuscript. At a conference last year, Wilmshurst claimed study data were not managed correctly.

Many PFO closure studies, like PREMIUM and ESCAPE are still happening. As is MIST-III, a longer-term trial with the same device as MIST-I. I’m not ready to dismiss PFO closure for migraine. This trial was a pretty big deal, but other study results are necessary. I guarantee I’m not letting anyone near my heart unless there’s strong evidence for doing so.

[via Kevin, MD]

Graphic from Cleveland Clinic’s PFO page.

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30 Responses to “Closing Hole in Heart to Treat Migraine: PFO Closure Study Findings Not Promising”

  1. Wisdom Says:

    That is disappointing news. Thanks for sharing. I was interested in how the heart could possibly be causing a headache. I guess we have to wait until future studies are conducted.

  2. Tami Says:

    Thanks so much for posting this information. My neurologist just suggested that I undergo “the bubble test” to check for the hole. But I didn’t understand why I would have a hole in my heart in the first place! And why no other symptoms besides migraines?

    Thanks again!

  3. Jamie W. Says:

    Well that is not good news. I have a PFO and was enrolled in the ESCAPE trial, but I backed out at the last minute. I was hoping this would be a huge breakthrough and cure me forever! Oh well…

  4. Rachel Says:

    Last year I paid the $410 (not covered by insurance) to see if I had the PFO in my heart. I didn’t. It was good to rule one more thing out though.

  5. Zara Says:

    I had the PFO closure procedure done 11 1/2 months ago (June 2007). I have been migraine free since the procedure. Prior to the surgery I was suffering from one or more migraines per week, along with related TIA’s (trans ischemic attacks – aka mini-strokes). I continue to have severe hormone-related headaches once a month but the traditional migraines and TIA’s have completely stopped. For anyone suffering from severe, quality-of-life impacting migraines I strongly recommend you follow and research the PFO option. I had no side effects or difficulties as a result of the PFO closure and had a quick and easy out patient recovery period following the initial procedure.

  6. Lynn Says:

    I had a TEE performed yesterday that confirmed my PFO that was discovered 10 years ago when I started to have mini-stroke migraines. I was advised by the physician yesterday to have a closure performed. I am only 33 years old and pretty freaked out about this. All other websites that I have read on this procedure have been very promising and reading the above message from Zara makes me feel better about it.

  7. robert r newport Says:

    I am 3 years post pfo closure with the Amplaxter clamshell. I have suffered from Migranines with aura, scintillating scotoma, brown outs and other migraine accompanyments including Hortons cephalgia and blurred and double vision for 47 years. I have had both tia’s and a cryptogenic and silent stroke. I have now been completely migraine free since the closure. The procedure was atrumatic, and without side effects. I am comploetely grateful that my neurologist made the correct diagnosis and that I qualified for the treatment. I have a strong family history, and my sister who did not qualify for either the procedure, nor for inclusion in the studies due to age, has had the procedure in South America. She is 1 month post op and has had two migrainous events. I’ll deep you posted. RRN

  8. Laura Says:

    I am 1 yr post closure, and while the procedure has not rid me of all my migraines (I am still on the same pre-surgery preventative regimen and continue to get very predictable menstrual migraines), I have been able to track an approximately 50% reduction in my number of headache days per month. And, since I used to suffer 12-14 days per month, the surgery has brought welcome relief with no negative side effects. Who can say that about most prophylactic drug treatments?

  9. Kendall Says:

    I’m scheduled for the Escape trial at the end of this month and am just hanging on by my fingernails, hoping I get the PFO closure and that it helps. I find I always get severe migraines with any kind of exercise, so I’ve been pretty sedentary, and that’s causing an overall decline in health that is making me age very quickly. Despite the negative study results, what Robert, Zara, and Laura say encourage me. Please don’t stop the blog now! I’m really hoping for a breakthrough.

  10. Chad Says:

    I am desperate for help with my migraines. My problems first started out as rare headaches until I had a syncope spell 10 years ago when I was 25. I have had several episodes of syncope along with heart palpatitations and chest pain over the past several years. Recently, my migraines have become unbearable and almost daily. I feel like none of the doctors I have seen care or feel like I truly have a problem. I was very interested in this study. I wonder if this may be my problem.

  11. liz Says:

    I participated in the ESCAPE trial and believe I was one of the lucky people to get a device. I went from 11-14 migraines a month to zero. Migraines were ruining my life and some of the side effects from prophylactics that I experienced were life threatening. I know one other person who had a PFO closed after a TIA and her migraines also disappeared. While admittedly the MIST trial had some complications, judgment shouldn’t be passed until ESCAPE and other notable trials publish their results. This technology greatly improves quality of life and migraine sufferers deserve the opportunity to access it before having a stroke or TIA.

  12. Ron Says:

    I was diagnosed with Migraine headaches when I was a child. I am currently 66 years old. I thought that I had “out grown” the Migraines at about the age of 50.

    In the last year and a half to two years, headaches, a little milder than most of the headaches I have had my lifetime, have returned. They last for weeks at a time and no medication seems to help.

    In Oct 07 I had an Echo Cardiogram and was told that my Aortic Valve had to be replaced. A Catherization confirmed the necessity of the valve replacement and I was told that my arteries were fine and needed no attention. The Aortic Valve was replaced in Nov 07.

    If I have a PFO would and/or should the surgeon have been able to see it during the surgery and told me about it after the surgery?

    I have not discussed this with my doctor as I have just learned about PFO yesterday and my understanding is that a lot of family physicians are not aware of this condition, do not run tests for PFO or that PFO’s are associated with migraines.

    I will check further but would appreciate any information I should ask my doctor.

    Thanks!

    *******
    Hi Ron,

    I’m not sure if your surgeon would have been able to see it. I would guess not, but don’t know for sure. I’d definitely ask your doctor about it. If you have no luck, you may want to talk to a headache specialist about it.

    Best of luck,
    Kerrie

  13. Rachel Says:

    Hi Ron-

    I am being scheduled for an echo cardiogram myself specifically to check for a PFO (advised by my neurologist, who is truly amazing), so I’m guessing if they were checking the overall condition of your heart, they would have caught it.

  14. Flo Brumley Says:

    Just came upon this blog and feel need to share. I had a PFO Closure done with Amplatzer Device in November of 2007. I feel as though the physicians who diagnosed me and inserted the device gave me my life back. I have dramatic improvement in not only my migraines but my quality of life in general.

    Just this week, my 31 year daughter underwent a bubble echo and she has a PFO that is larger than mine. She has aura migraines, dizziness, some vague shortness of breath and sporadic episodes of varying degrees of vision loss, etc. In July, she had an episode where she had complete vision loss for 1 to 2 minutes. She is going to undergo PFO closure with the amplatzer occluder in October.

    I recommend for anyone with a PFO and significant problems to google PFO closure and read about the different devices. Do your research. I extensively researched PFOs, closures and the different devices before undergoing the procedure. (Be aware however, that this is a problem that has been undertreated and primarily unrecognized in adults until recently so there are not much out there as far as long term studies go and no clear cut “agreed upon by all” treatment). What I discovered is that there seems to be a significant difference in results depending upon the devices used. I’m not saying that is a fact–just what I noted with what I read. I found from the blogs I read, the articles and studies that patients undergoing closure with Amplatzer Occluder showed better results as a whole (again, just my opinion–I suggest you do your own research) and luckily that is all my physicians and hospital use. They also are involved in one of the migraine trials, but I did not have my closure as part of the trial. My symptoms and PFO size were such that I qualified for FDA approved closure outside of a trial. I was 57 years old at the time. I had a history of migraines with auras and weird neurological events going all the way back to my 20s–which the neurologists told me were migraine symptoms. As I grew older, my symptoms became more pronounced and serious–but were still attributed to migraines. For the 5 years prior to my closure, my stamina and energy level were terrible–affecting all areas of my life. I saw all kinds of different specialists–some who blamed migraines, some blamed fibro-myalgia and some just considered me a hysterical post-menopausal female. I saw a cardiologist for another issue and he followed a hunch and ordered a bubble echo. Finally, I had a diagnosis. The procedure was not bad at all and my recovery was quick. One week after the closure (with my doctors permission) I was at the mall Christmas shopping and I had enough energy to do so. It has now been almost a year and I feel like a new person. I’ve had no adverse affects and consider myself very lucky that I didn’t have a stroke and that it was diagnosed and closed. (the cardiologist said I’d been having TIAs–mini strokes–since my 20s). I haven’t had any TIAs since the closure. I’ve had an occasional short-lived and non-severe headache since closure, but I can usually attribute it to a specific cause. My headaches are between 80 to 90% improved.

    As far as I’m concerned the availability of PFO closure in the cath lab is a miracle that made a new person out of me.

    Good luck to anyone out there struggling with this issue.

    Flo

  15. Sherry Says:

    I need to ask for some help. I suffer from migraines that are manageable by medication however my sister is not as lucky. She has migraines approx 15-20 days a month and on the days she is not suffering she is trying to recover. We have had her at the migraine clinic in MI twice with out any relief (we live in Florida) and she is now seeing another new neurologist. He has done the botox on her, nerve blocks, self administered injections of Demerol all with no relief. It has been over a month with pain daily she ended up in the hospital (again) and was admitted for two days they started IV steroids on her and she had an adverse reaction and they had to stop. Now she is home and we don’t know what to try next. We keep asking the Dr’s to check for the PFO and they will not citing that it is too rare. How did you get your doctors to order the tests? I hate to see her like this and I need to help her. Any direction you can point me in is greatly appreciated.

    ********
    I’m not sure what to tell you. I’ve never been tested for it. I think seeing a cardiologist would be your best bet.

    Kerrie

  16. PJ Says:

    I was also found to have a PFO, about a year after having a TIA that caused me to lose control of the right side of my body for about 10 minutes. They ran every test but that one, couldn’t find any problem with my arteries, heart, etc. I was the one who brought up the PFO possibility (being a migraine sufferer most of my life as well). My neuro didn’t want to do the test until my adult daughter had it done & they found that she had a PFO. My neuro then ordered it, and I had one of those “whoa” kind of PFO’s – pretty much leaking all the time.

    I didn’t qualify for studies & I didn’t qualify for closure in the US – I went to Germany & had mine closed by an expert known world-wide. It was amazingly easy to become his patient, the procedure went like clockwork, and I rode the subway back to my hotel the same day, and did some light sight-seeing the next.

    My migraines are completely gone. I didn’t have the closure to stop the migraines, it was just a very welcome side benefit. I got the closure done to prevent another stroke (don’t let them kid you – TIA’s can cause long-term damage. I’ve had definite cognitive effects as well as balance effects from my TIA)

    I also got my energy back. Before the closure, I was unable to do anything like an aerobics class because my heart rate would get too high with almost no exertion. I can now exercise again, my pulse accelerates at a normal rate & recovers at a normal rate.

    If your doctor won’t have the bubble echo done, find one who will. It isn’t a tricky test to do. If I had severe migraines & frequent, I would even pay for it out of pocket if I had to, just to make sure.

  17. Flo Brumley Says:

    Sherry,

    I can tell you that my neurologist was NOT the one who even gave one thought to the possibility of a PFO (and he is really a very competent Dr.). Mine was discovered by a cardiologist. I can’t say that I’m qualified to give you advice but I can tell you what I’d do if it was my sister (or myself for that matter knowing what I know now). I would get on google and search for a Research Medical Center that is closest to you doing Migraine/PFO clinical trials, click on contact and call their person listed (usually is a research nurse). That person should be able to tell you per telephone if she would be eligible for screening for the trial. As I understand it, if she qualifieds for screening for the clinical trial, they would do a bubble echo (which is what she needs to diagnose or rule out a PFO). They would review all aspects of the trial with her and she could decide if she wants to join the trial or not. But, getting a bubble echo is what she really needs because that will determine if she has a PFO. You don’t need a physician to refer you to these clinical trials and I’m fairly sure any care or testing associated with it is without charge.
    If none of the trials are close enough for her to travel to, then I’d look for a large university medical center and contact their cardiology department to ask if they have a cardiologist who specializes in PFOs and if they do bubble echos. Most of the time, you can self referral (if your insurance allows it) to university medical centers. Remember that a regular echo will not diagnose a PFO, it needs to be a Bubble Echo.

    Good Luck,
    Flo

  18. Ally Says:

    Hi.

    I had a pfo closure in February, never suffered any migrianes, but had a major stroke 6 yrs ago aged 40 that baffled the experts who said there was nothing wrong and I was just imagining things, even described as hysterical stroke syndrome!!! but no one had checked my heart and it wasn’t discovered unil I’d had 3 tia’s in one week,and a locum doctor admitted me into hospital and routine checks found the large hole. Since the op I’ve now got migraine, and there’s a small leak, I had a bubble test 2 weeks ago and been terrible since then, loss of vision, sickness and generally feeling awful,however the pfo closure has brought me a whole new quality of life as before I was constantly tired even tho the surgeon was adamant this wasn’t the reason why I was tired, I can now run for 3 minutes without gasping for breath. Any idea’as why I’m now suffering and wasn’t before ?

    thanks

    *******
    Wow, that’s scary. I unfortunately don’t have any ideas about why you’re having trouble after the surgery. Perhaps a neurologist could help?

    Take care,
    Kerrie

  19. Flo Brumley Says:

    PJ,

    I was really interested in your posting. I see you also have an adult daughter with a PFO. My cardiologist is really interested in the different aspects he is discovering with his PFO patients. Basically, as I understand it, there has been so little attention given to PFOs being a serious medical problems among adults that essentially no research addresses the issues. I am going to share with him that another person on this Blog also has an adult daughter with a PFO since we just discovered one of my three daughters do. The other two don’t have any of the symptoms or don’t have migraines so we’re not screening them.

    I’m also interested to know where you live. Both my daughter and I also had the “whoa” PFOs that leaked all the time. And like you, I didn’t have mine for Migraines, but it sure has been a welcome relief.

    Ally,

    Gosh, I don’t know what to say to you. You keep saying surgeon. How was your PFO closed? Cath lab or surgery?

    I know that the information I read says that in some cases (especially when the PFO is really large and depending upon any other problems in the area of the PFO) that small amount of leakage may still occur. I am really puzzled as to why you should have all of those symptoms after a bubble echo.

    I know that during the first part of my procedure in the cath lab the cardiologist inserted something called ICE (intracardiac echo) probe. Basically it is a small catheter with a tiny echo probe on it. This probe was left in for the entire procedure so they could display computer echo images from inside my heart throughout the procedure (which of interest, I was awake and watching). But, before he began the closure, he used the ICE to look inside my heart to make sure I didn’t have additional smaller holes that didn’t show up on the bubble echo. He explained to me that sometimes, especially when the PFO is large, there may be other tiny holes or congenital abnormalities that they need to know about to determine the success of closing the PFO with a device in the cath lab. He also told me that sometime the heart muscle around the PFO can be “floppy” and which makes closure with a device more tricky. The echo probe inside my heart ruled out those problems and he proceeded with my procedure. Please understand that I am in no way suggesting that this is your problem or pertains to you, but am merely sharing with you what I was told as some of the things that could be problematic or could either prevent or make cath lab closure less effective.

    But, if it was me, I would be asking for someone to give me an explanation as to what they think is happening.

    Good Luck.
    Flo

  20. Joyce A. Says:

    well, this is new to me. I thought I took and did everything possible for the migraines I have suffered from for forty years. I was just recently hospitalized for an acute migraine that lasted over two weeks. My Neurologist was going to do an IV called, I believe, a DHE to break the cycle of the migraine. Before this drug can be administered an EKG has to be done. Well, the EKG was done and came back abnormal so the drug was not given to me. Due to the abnormal EKG a cardiologist was brought in and I remained in the hospital to have an ultrasound of my heart, a stress test and another EKG. There was nothing conclusive from the tests but due to their initial findings I am not inclined to have the IV drug. After having read this website, it makes me wonder if they would have found this PFO without looking for it and if after all those tests it might just be my problem. I find most of these testimonials to be very interesting and uplifting. Anything that would give me just a couple days of relief a week would be worth the try. Thanks for the information; I will be taking this to my Neurologist tomorrow to see what his reaction is. I wish all my fellow migraneurs the best in the future. It’s a tough life, but there’s always a chance!!!!!

  21. Mike Wooden Says:

    Perhaps someone can help with my son’s situation.He is 18 years old and has suffered from hemapalegic and daily migraines since he was 9 years old.We have been to several neuroligists including a noted headache DR. at UC medical center in San Francisco.Every Dr. claims that his problem is genetic, and he will most likely out grow the problem. In the meantime he has been in a state of daily headache for 9 years. In addition, the hemapalegic episodes (1/2 of his body goes numb)are continuing at the rate of 2-3 tmes per week.His Dr.’s have tried a dozen medication to no avail.We have done MRI’s ,CAT scans, as well as sleep deprived EEG.No brain tumors etc. were found.He is currently taking serious pain meds and it provides minimal relief.We are desperate to find a solution. He is an extremely bright kid,but has problems completing college courses since he misses so much class.Could a PFO be the problem? We live in central California and my son is currently in Santa Fe New Mexico trying to attend college.PLEASE ANY HELP WOULD BE APPRECIATED !!!!

  22. KF Says:

    I qualified for the Escape Study. and they cancelled it last week, 7 days prior to my scheduled surgery. so now I’m going to head to a neurologist and start trying to get this done without being in a study. I get migraines because of weather pressure changes, exercise (leading to an unhealthier lifestyle) and overheating when trying to do just about anything!

    KF

  23. liz Says:

    Mike,

    Definitely get your son tested for PFO by transthoracic echo with bubble study or Transcranial Doppler. I had hemiplegic migraines as well. I have not had a single migraine since the closure procedure. My quality of life has improved. My only regret is the procedure not being available when I was younger.

    Liz

  24. Jacquelyn Says:

    After 15+ years of dealing with majors headaches and migraines a doctor finally suggested that I have an MRI of my brain. The MRI resulted in several abnormal “flare spots” on my brain. I was referred to a neurologist who assured me that I didn’t have a brain tumor. He also explained to me that it wasn’t uncommon for people who suffered from such bad headaches to have these “flare spots” on their brains. However, he wanted to rule out a PFO (Patent Foramen Ovale) so he referred me to a cardiologist who performed a T.E.E. (TransEsopohogeal Echocardiogram). The test showed that I did indeed have the PFO. He then referred me to another cardiologist who would decide whether or not closing the PFO would be necessary. He made it clear to me that he wasn’t interested in my case or doing the procedure to close the PFO just based on the migraine history. It wasn’t until he reviewed the films of my MRI and realized that there was obviously something more going on and that he would reccommend the procedure for me. I am now waiting for insurance authoriztion and a scheduled surgery date. I only pray that I am among those of you who did have a marked decrease in the number of headaches/migraines that you had after the hole was closed. The doctor said that it was about a 50% chance that the headaches would possibly get better. It’s definitely worth that for me!!!

  25. Robert Says:

    Your story seems very similar to mine Jacquelyn.

    I have been suffering from migraines for 24 yrs. I get them almost strictly from physical exertion. I get them sporadically after soccer or running or other physical activities; mostly involving a quick burst of energy. I get an aura about 15min before the outset of the real pain.

    Two years ago my doctor prescribed a beta-blocker to help prevent them and it seemed to work pretty well. It reduced the frequency of attacks considerably but the beta blocker also caused me to kinda feel sluggish and made it harder to get my heart rate up during a workout.

    Two months ago i had a really long and stressful photo shoot (i’m a part-time photographer) and the next morning i had forgotten to take my beta-blocker before heading to church. Well, by noon i had a migraine. After my typical migraine recovery ritual, i awoke the next day with the typical slow moving slow thinking after affects. But unfortunately, it didn’t go away. 7 days later, and i was still having trouble processing. By processing i mean that i could see a person’s nose fine but i couldn’t see their face – if you follow me. Well,.. my “processing” got better but it scared me to say the least. So i went and saw a neurologist and he put me on topamax and scheduled an MRI (which i just did today)

    BUT,… Based on what i’ve been reading and my own theories of Migraines,…and the type of trigger that i have for my migraines, i’m beginning to think that i might have a PFO so i am in the process of scheduling an appointment with the only Cardiologist at the University of Tennessee that as experience doing the closure procedure to first see if i even have a PFO and if it will help if he closed it.

  26. Jaci Says:

    Holy cow, I am 18 years old and have been suffering from headaches since I was 13. In the past year or so, the headaches have transformed into dibilitating migraines with naseau, dizziness, slight aura, and muscle pains. I’ve been on three different daily meds, as well as two different “emergency” meds. I’ve had an MRI of my brain and neck, and everything looks fine. I’ve tried massages, chiropractor, as well as currently trying physical therapy. My neurologist is amazing and I will definitely be printing off some of this for him.

  27. Jaci Says:

    I also end up having to get tordol and fenergin (sp?) shots at least once a month. It would be so amazing to finally find a solution.

  28. Alex Johnson Says:

    I had a PFO Closure June of this year due to having had a stroke at 43 and having had severe migraines all my life.

    Have been migraine free for almost 6 months.

  29. Katy Says:

    Felt the need to write as I too suffer from migraines for what has been most of my life and was diagnosed with a large PFO (5/5 at rest – 5/5+ with pressure changes in my heart when straining/bearing down). In December 2007 – I started a daily migraine and haven’t had a day of relief since. I have around the clock auras and several days a week of debilitating pain. On December 1st of this year, my PFO was closed and while I am still healing – I have great hope and have already noticed a decrease in my aura symptoms with the device (while made of porous material) in place.

    To begin my story and also my advice for others…I was told by more than one doctor that I trust and love that my PFO could not be causing my migraines and aura symptoms. I believed them for a long time. They aren’t bad doctors and it is true that there isn’t good solid research that substantiates PFO closure as a viable treatment for migraines. Compelling research, but not “FDA approved treatment” research.

    I also feel lucky that I live in Seattle where there are many neurologists and interventional cardiologists working together to treat migraines as well as other potential neuro-cardio health problems like stokes.

    My primary care physician and my neurologist first tried all the drug and naturopathic remedies under the sun. I’ve tried over 30 drugs and nothing helped. Most of the time – drugs make my symptoms much worse. From my experience, people need to go through this trial and error, as painful as it might be, because insurance companies don’t pay for PFO closure for migraine treatment unless you’ve exhausted your non-invasive options.

    After not having drug success and because of the size of my PFO – my docs referred me to one of their interventional cardio colleges who helped propel the discussion of PFO closure for treatment of my migraines.

    DON’T GIVE UP. Find someone who has experience closing PFO’s as treatment for migraine and preferably a cardiologist that has good working relationships with neurologists (specifically headache specialists). You might have to wait. I waited over six months this last year to get in to see the right folks.

    My cardiologists is one of the best in Seattle and even in this big city full of cutting edge medical research and breakthroughs – they had only closed 6 (I guess now 7 with my procedure complete) PFO’s for migraine treatment in the history of the treatment option. They’ve closed more through studies, but I didn’t qualify for any study because of the frequency of my migraines.

    PFO closure for migraine treatment is controversial. As many posts before me note – they had PFO closures for TIA’s or strokes and migraine prevention was a secondary symptom or benefit from the procedure.

    Be your own advocate and document everything. The best thing I’ve done for myself is keep really good medical records. Tracking symptoms, frequencies, drugs tried and subsequent reactions, impacts on life, etc. made all the difference for me. I could show easily and concisely what I experience and how my quality of life was impacted.

    I need to wait out the time that it takes for heart tissue to grow over the implanted closure device to get full benefit, but hopefully over the next three months, I can start getting my life back.

  30. Terry Says:

    All,

    I’m m36 and have suffered with Migraine with Aura since the Age of 8 so 28 years, last year my migraines suddenly became very much worse to the point of the aura symptoms appearing 5 times in one day and being admitted to hospital as they thought I was having a stroke.

    I joined the PRIMA trial early last year and had the closure on the 8th Jan. So its only a week since the closure, but everything feels fine and I have recovered well.

    a point to note, my migraines stopped occuring 2 weeks before the surgery, when the trial put me on daily disprin (75mg) and daily Clopidogril (75mg). The surgeon who carried out my closure, did say that it might be an idea to carry out another trial using clopidogril only with no closure.

    Anyway, message to all, it seems at last there is hope so hang on in there.


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