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1.4.3 Migrainous infarction


One or more migraine aura symptoms occurring in association with an ischaemic brain lesion in the appropriate territory demonstrated by neuroimaging, with onset during the course of a typical migraine with aura attack.

Diagnostic criteria:
  1. A migraine attack fulfilling criteria B and C
  2. Occurring in a patient with 1.2 Migraine with aura and typical of previous attacks except that one or more aura symptoms persists for >60 minutes1
  3. Neuroimaging demonstrates ischaemic infarction in a relevant area
  4. Not better accounted for by another ICHD-3 diagnosis.

There may be additional symptoms attributable to the infarction.


Ischaemic stroke in a migraine sufferer may be categorized as cerebral infarction of other cause coexisting with 1. Migraine, cerebral infarction of other cause presenting with symptoms resembling 1.2 Migraine with aura, or cerebral infarction occurring during the course of a typical attack of 1.2 Migraine with aura. Only the last fulfils criteria for 1.4.3 Migrainous infarction.

1.4.3 Migrainous infarction mostly occurs in the posterior circulation and in younger women.

A two-fold increased risk of ischaemic stroke in patients with 1.2 Migraine with aura has been demonstrated in several population-based studies. However, it should be noted that these infarctions are not migrainous infarctions. The mechanisms of the increased risk of ischaemic stroke in migraine sufferers remain unclear; likewise, the relationship between increased risk and frequency of aura and the nature of aura symptoms denoting the increase in risk are unknown. Most studies have shown a lack of association between 1.1 Migraine without aura and ischaemic stroke.