Diagnosis of Migraine & Headache Types

What type of examination have you made?

  • By Nancy Harris Bonk Moderator

    Hi barbie86,

    I’m not exactly sure what you mean – are you asking if people have had an MRI with or without contrast?
    If so, I’ve had both. The only problem I had with the MRI with contrast was a nurse had trouble finding a vein to start the IV.

    Let me know if this isn’t what you meant and we’ll figure it out together.


    Reply Created with Sketch. reply
  • By 11:11

    Maybe English is not her/his primary language…..?

    I’ve had ct, cta, mri, and mra with no reaction or trigger of HA. But it didn’t dx migraine

    Reply Created with Sketch. reply
  • By barbie86


    yes, I’m not a native speaker. That is what I ment. So, I only had MRI without contrast, they didn’t find nothing but I am scared, because I didn’t have any other … I don’t know what to do, I can’t live with migraine 🙁 I am so scared I will die because it si not a migraine with aura but TIA or something dangerous :(( I am so scared of having children, because migraine can worsen during pregnancy.

    Reply Created with Sketch. reply
  • By 11:11

    Barbie yes that should be of concern. I’m not an MD but I think a CTA or MRA would be appropriate bcuz aneurysm or AVM (arterial-venus malformation) has to be ruled out.

    Do you have a family hx (history) of aneurysm or AVM?

    Are you being seen by a good neurologist? If so you might get a good 2nd opinion. Search for a good neurologist (not general practitioner or family medicine) in your area and pursue him/her hard.

    Be willing to travel.

    Keep us posted and seriously consider avoiding pregnancy until all imaging is done to include interventional radiology (mapping the brain vasculature with dye). In case you have a vascular defect.

    Keep us posted ok?
    God bless

    Reply Created with Sketch. reply
  • By barbie86

    Hey, no, I don’t have a family hx of AVM. My mother had migraines but without aura. My cousin has epilepsy (I read that this can be also connected). One doctor (a good one) said that if MR scan was ok, than also ct would show nothing. I am very affraid of contrast … because of possible alergic reaction 🙁 Because of migraine I am a hipohondriac … I can’t deal with this illness. I have migraine for 10 years, 3 times per year,. My triggers are: food, ovulation or menstruation.

    Reply Created with Sketch. reply
  • By Lisa Robin Benson Moderator

    Hi Barbie,

    I am sorry you are feeling so scared and concerned.

    Personally I only had an MRI without contrast, to rule out any other conditions. The migraine itself won’t show the migraine, but eliminates the possibility of another condition or cause of headache.

    Here is an article on getting an MRI for migraine:

    Generally these tests are a precaution if you fit the diagnosis of migraine. However, if you are feeling scared or like there is a possibility that something else is wrong, you ave every right to talk to your doctor about your concerns. If your doctor thinks you do not need another test, ask for an explanation. You can always ask for a second opinion.

    That being said migraine is usually just that–migraine. It is not life threatening, and while there is no cure, many people can find helpful treatment and feel better.

    Wishing you the best of luck.

    Reply Created with Sketch. reply
  • By 11:11

    What a minute…..did you just say 3 TIMES PER YEAR????

    I get them 3-5 times a week. I’ve spent the last year in a dark room. I’m lucky to be able to leave the house 1-2 times a week!

    Id pay money to be in your shoes! Now….get out if here. Get off the internet and go have babies and enjoy life!

    Reply Created with Sketch. reply
  • By barbie86

    Hey there, thanks for your answers. Lisa, nothing was found on MRI, but the doctor sadi he has to rule our also aneurysms. Do you have also migraine with aura?
    11.11 hehe, thanks, I have to enjoy life, yes, but I am scared ob aura so much 🙁
    I read some articles about aura and there is a double risk of stroke and heart disease. Some say that aura is a characteristic of those who suffer or will suffer from arterioschlerosis.

    Reply Created with Sketch. reply
  • By 11:11

    I think when the say “double the risk” they might be referring to migraineurs risk x 2.

    In any case even compared to the general population its a VERY small risk. If you’re having 3 headaches a year and not having stroke like s/sx then it shouldn’t be a huge concern?

    If you have the MRA it will confirm either way vascular abnormalities.

    BTW the type of contrast they use for CTA and MRA is different than for cath lab and international radiology, and MUCH less likely to have reactions. And if you have a hx of asthma (most significant predictor of reaction) or previous reaction they can premedicate you for the scan.

    Either way you really should be getting this all straight with a good neurologist-

    Reply Created with Sketch. reply