Prostaglandin E2(PGE2) induces headache in healthy subjects

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The role of prostanoids in nociception is well established. The headache-eliciting effects of prostaglandin E(2) (PGE(2)) and its possible mechanisms have previously not been systematically studied in man. We hypothesized that infusion of PGE(2) might induce headache and vasodilation of cranial vessels. PGE(2) (0.40 microg kg(-1) min(-1)) or saline was infused for 25 min into 11 healthy subjects in a cross-over, double-blind study. Headache intensity was scored on a verbal rating scale from 0 to 10. In addition, we recorded mean flow in the middle cerebral artery (V(MCA)) by transcranial Doppler and diameter of the superficial temporal artery (STA) by high-resolution ultrasonography. All 11 subjects reported headache on the PGE(2) day and no subjects reported headache on the placebo day (P = 0.001). During the immediate phase (0-30 min) (P = 0.005) and the postinfusion phase (30-90 min) (P = 0.005), the area under the curve for headache score was significantly larger on the PGE(2) day compared with the placebo day. PGE(2) caused dilatation of the STA (23.5%; 95% CI 14.0, 37.8) and the MCA (8.3%; 95% CI 4.0, 12.6). We suggest that PGE(2) induces headache by activation and sensitization of cranial perivascular sensory afferents.
Original languageEnglish
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)509-19
Number of pages10
Publication statusPublished - 2009

Bibliographical note

Keywords: Adult; Cerebrovascular Circulation; Cross-Over Studies; Dinoprostone; Female; Headache; Humans; Male; Middle Cerebral Artery; Oxytocics; Temporal Arteries; Tomography, Emission-Computed, Single-Photon; Ultrasonography, Doppler, Color; Vasodilation

ID: 21359555