Migraine occurs with increased frequency in patients with systemic lupus erythematosus and in subjects suffering from Raynaud's phenomenon without any underlying connective tissue disorders. A possible link between migraine and Raynaud's phenomenon has been suggested. Two rheumatic conditions where Raynaud's phenomenon occurs very commonly are scleroderma and primary Sjögren's syndrome. It is possible that migraine is also common in these disorders but has been unrecognised. Therefore, the prevalence of migraine was assessed by a questionnaire in 191 subjects suffering from various connective tissue disorders and control subjects. Migraine was diagnosed in 16/35 (46%) patients with primary Sjögren's syndrome, 31/97 (32%) patients with scleroderma, 4/33 (12%) patients with rheumatoid arthritis/Sjögren's syndrome compared with 3/26 (11%) control subjects. A family history of headaches was more common in the patient groups than controls. There was a significant association between occurrence of Raynaud's phenomenon and migraine. Small vessel pathology may underlie both migraine and Raynaud's phenomenon in these connective tissue disorders--as has been suggested in systemic lupus erythematosus. The findings stress the need to ask specifically about complaints of headaches/migraines in patients with scleroderma and primary Sjögren's syndrome for the appropriate total management of these patients.
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