Delivery Outcomes of Patients with Acute Migraine in Pregnancy: A Retrospective Study

Tracy B. Grossman, Matthew S. Robbins, Shravya Govindappagari, Ashlesha K. Dayal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Objective: To describe labor and delivery outcomes in pregnant patients presenting to the hospital setting with an acute severe migraine headache attack earlier in the same gestation. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed pregnancy and delivery records from a database of consecutive inpatient neurology consultations for acute headache in pregnant women over a 5 year period. Results: We identified 86 pregnant women with acute migraine. The mean age was 29.3 (±6.4) years. Nearly half had migraine with aura (35/86 [40.7%]), 12.8% (12/86) had chronic migraine, and 31.4% (27/86) presented in status migrainosus. Complication rates included 54.7%([41/75], 95% CI 29.87, 52.13) for at least one adverse outcome, 28.0% ([21/75], 95% CI 11.78, 30.22) for preterm delivery, 21.3% ([16/75], 95% CI 7.7, 24.3) for preeclampsia, 30.6% ([23/75] 95% CI 13.48, 32.52) for cesarean delivery, and 18.7% ([14/75] 95% CI 6.15, 21.85) for low birthweight. Conclusions: Pregnant women seeking treatment for acute migraine headache experienced a higher rate of preterm delivery, preeclampsia, and low birthweight but a lower rate of cesarean delivery than the local and general populations. More than half (54.7% [41/75] 95% CI 29.87, 52.13) of the study patients experienced some type of adverse birth outcome, suggesting that pregnancies in migraine patients presenting to an acute care setting may benefit from more intense surveillance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)605-611
Number of pages7
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1 2017


  • birth outcome
  • migraine
  • pregnancy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology


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