Fibromuscular dysplasia is a disease of arteries that can affect any arteries. However, the most common arteries affected are carotid, renal, and vertebral arteries. The condition is nonatherosclerotic and noninflammatory but may result in aneurysm, stenosis, tortuosity, and stenosis.

The author, while indicating the need for the study, wrote, “Although headache is one of the common symptoms experienced by patients with fibromuscular dysplasia, there is a limited knowledge about their relationship.” The author further wrote, “The aim of this study was to report the frequency and characteristics of headache in a cohort of patients enrolled in the United States Registry for FMD and to identify clinical factors associated with the presence of this symptom.”

The researchers analyzed the number of patients suffering from fibromuscular dysplasia and were enrolled in the United States Registry from 2009 to 2016. There were altogether 1433 patients in this category over the age of 18 years. Complete information about the headache was available for 1251 patients. These patients were included in the study. The majority of the patients were women without any known family history of headaches. There were 844 patients which experienced headaches while 407 patients had no headache.  The patients were divided into ‘with a headache’ and ‘without headache’ groups. Univariate analysis was conducted using the Student’s T-tests.

The result of the univariate analysis revealed that people who had headaches were more likely to have vertebral artery or carotid artery FMD. Further, the FMD in such patients is diagnosed at a younger age. Such patients may also have a history of aneurysm, have a stroke or pulsatile tinnitus at the time of diagnosis, and had the history of dizziness, anxiety, and depression. Hypertension was less likely in patients who experiences headache in FMD. Further, patients who had concomitant depression with FMD complained of headaches more frequently as compared to patients without depression.


Wells BJ, Modi RD, Gu X, Bumpus SM, Swan K, Froehlich JB, Gray BH, Southerland AM, Kim ES, Fendrikova Mahlay N, Gupta K, Weinberg I, Bacharach M, Gornik HL, Olin JW. Clinical associations of headaches among patients with fibromuscular dysplasia: A Re