Patients with migraine may present a higher quantity of myofascial trigger points (MTrP) and alterations in the cervical muscles when compared to non-migraineurs. The magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a robust method for the study of human soft tissues and could be useful to investigate these points.
To identify the presence of MTrP in the descending fibers of the trapezius muscle in women with migraine and to quantify the muscle volume by MRI, correlating it with the headache characteristics.
A cross-sectional analytic study was conducted among 14 women, eight in migraine group, and six in without migraine group. The presence of MTrP was evaluated using Simons’ criteria, and linolenic acid capsules subsequently marked the areas. MRI was performed with 1.5T, T1-weighted sequence, and T2 in the axial, sagittal, and coronal planes. The T1-weighted sequences were performed with and without gadolinium contrast.
The T1-weighted image analysis with and without gadolinium did not show any signal alteration in the MTrP areas in both groups. The migraine group presented more MTrP in the trapezius muscle (MD [95%CI] = 1[1; 3]; MD [95%CI] = 1[0; 2] right and left side, respectively), and a smaller muscle volume (MD [95%CI] = -198.1[-338.7;-25.6], MD [95%CI] = -149.9[-325.05;-0.13] right and left side, respectively) than non-migraineurs. The migraine frequency presented a negative strong correlation with the trapezius volumes (r = -0.812; p = 0.014).
Migraineurs present more MTrP and a smaller muscle volume than non-migraineurs. The trapezius volume is negatively correlated with migraine frequency. MRI is not a suitable outcome measure for assessing MTrP.

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