Volume of the rectus capitis posterior minor muscle in migraine patients: a cross-sectional structural MRI study

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Background: Neck pain in migraine patients is very prevalent between and during migraine attacks, but the underlying mechanism behind neck pain in migraine is unknown. The neck muscle rectus capitis posterior minor muscle (RCPmi) may be important since it is connected to the occipital dura mater. In this study, we examined the RCPmi volume in migraine patients and compared with controls. Methods: We conducted a cross-sectional MRI study examining muscle volume in 40 episodic migraine patients and 40 controls in preexisting images from prior studies. Three-dimensional T1 weighted sequences were collected with a 3.0 T MRI Scanner. The volume of RCPmi was examined by manually tracing the muscle circumference with Horos medical image viewer. The observer was blinded to participant information. No information regarding neck pain status during or between migraine attacks were available. Results: The mean RCPmi volume was 1.22cm3 in migraine patients and 1.17cm3 in controls (p = 0.549). We found no differences in RCPmi volume on the pain side vs. the non-pain side (p = 0.237) in patients with unilateral migraine. There were no association between the muscle volume and years with migraine, headache or migraine frequency, age or BMI. Conclusions: We found no difference in RCPmi volume between migraine patients and controls, suggesting no structural RCPmi pathology in migraine.

Original languageEnglish
Article number57
JournalJournal of Headache and Pain
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 2020

    Research areas

  • Headache, Morphometry, Muscle volume, Pericranial muscles, RCPmi

ID: 250207746