The Journal of Headache and Pain

Official Journal of the "European Headache Federation" and of "Lifting The Burden - The Global Campaign against Headache"

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Volume 15 Supplement 1

Abstracts from the 4th European Headache and Migraine Trust International Congress: EHMTIC 2014

Open Access

EHMTI-0104. VIP levels in peripheral blood outside migraine attacks as a potential biomarker of cranial parasympathetic activation in chronic migraine

  • E Cernuda-Morollón1,
  • P Martínez-Camblor2,
  • E Serrano-Pertierra1,
  • C Ramón1,
  • D Larrosa1 and
  • J Pascual1
The Journal of Headache and Pain201415(Suppl 1):F21

Published: 18 September 2014


MigraineFibromyalgiaCluster HeadacheVasoactive Intestinal PeptideMigraine Attack


To determine vasoactive intestinal peptide (VIP) levels outside migraine attacks in peripheral blood as a potential biomarker for chronic migraine (CM).


Women older than 17 and diagnosed as CM were recruited. Matched women with no headache history and with episodic migraine (EM) served as controls, together with a series of patients with cluster headache in a pain-free period. VIP levels were determined in samples obtained from the antecubital vein by ELISA outside a migraine attack and having taken no symptomatic medication. Due to ethical reasons, preventatives were not stopped.


We assessed plasma samples from 119 women with CM, 33 healthy women, 51 matched women with EM and 18 patients (16 males) with cluster headache matched for age. VIP levels were significantly increased in CM (165.1 pg/ml) as compared to control healthy women (88.5 pg/ml) and episodic cluster headache patients (101.1 pg/ml). VIP levels in EM (134.9 pg/ml) were significantly higher as compared to controls and numerically lower that those of CM. Thresholds of 71.8 and 164.5 pg/ml optimize the sensitivity and specificity to differentiate CM from healthy controls and EM, respectively. Variables such as age, CM duration, the presence of aura, analgesic overuse, depression, fibromyalgia, vascular risk factors, history of triptan consumption or kind of preventative treatment did not influence VIP levels.


Increased interictal VIP level measured in peripheral blood could be a biomarker helping in CM diagnosis, though it does not clearly differentiate between EM and CM. Supported by PI11/00889 FISSS and Allergan-Eurasia MAT/ISS/NS/CM/003 grants

Authors’ Affiliations

Neurology, Hospital Universitario Central de Asturias and Ineuropa, Oviedo, Spain
OIB, Oficina Investigación Sanitaria, Oviedo, Spain


© Cernuda-Morollón et al; licensee Springer. 2014

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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