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Increased levels of CGRP in peripheral blood in women with chronic migraine: A reliable biological marker


The biology of chronic migraine (CM) as a true entity or as a consequence of analgesic overuse is controversial. There are no available biological markers for CM, while CGRP, a marker of trigemino-vascular activation, has been shown to be increased during acute migraine attacks in episodic migraine [1].


To determine CGRP levels in peripheral blood in a series of patients with CM as compared with matched subjects without a headache history.

Patients and methods

This series comprises 61 women meeting CM diagnostic criteria (IHC-II 2006 revised) with a mean age of 44 years (range 16-63) and 19 women (41 years, 22-55) without any headache history. CGRP levels were determined in blood samples obtained from right cubital vein between 9-12 am with an ELISA kit from USCN following manufacturer's instructions. Acute medication had not been taken the day before.


CGRP levels were increased in women with CM (77.94 ng/ml, range 27.69-157.72) as compared to controls (40.39 ng/ml, range 20.08-70.75) (+93%; p<10-8).


CGRP levels are clearly increased in patients with CM, which is compatible with a permanent activation of trigemino-vascular system in this entity. CGRP determination may constitute the first reliable biological marker for CM.


  1. Goadsby PJ, et al.: . Annals Neurol 1988, 23: 193–6. 10.1002/ana.410230214

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Supported by FISSS grant PI11/00899 (ISCIII)

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Cernuda-Morollon, E., Larrosa, D., Moris, G. et al. Increased levels of CGRP in peripheral blood in women with chronic migraine: A reliable biological marker. J Headache Pain 14, P104 (2013).

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  • Internal Medicine
  • Blood Sample
  • Migraine
  • Migraine Attack
  • Biological Marker