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Migraine Tests

There is no test for migraine. The tests below are used to rule out other conditions that cause similar symptoms.

X-Ray and Computerized Tomography

Both X-ray and computerized tomography (CT) scans use radiation to create images of the inside of the body. X-rays of the head and neck and CT scans of the brain look for sinus infection or brain tumors, both of which can cause severe headaches.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) uses powerful magnets and radio waves to create images of the inside of the body. An MRI of the brain can help diagnose tumors, stroke, aneurysm, and diseases that cause headaches and other migraine-like symptoms.

Lumbar Puncture

A lumbar puncture is used to diagnose meningitis, an infection of the membrane surrounding the brain, which can cause headaches and other neurological symptoms. In a lumbar puncture, also called a spinal tap, a needle is inserted between two vertebrae in the lower back and used to take a sample of cerebrospinal fluid (CSF), the fluid that surrounds and protects the brain and spine. A lumbar is not a common test used in the diagnosis of migraine.

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Written by: the Healthline Editorial Team
Medically reviewed : Sue Russell

This feature is for informational purposes only and should not be used to replace the care and information received from your health care provider. Please consult a health care professional with any health concerns you may have.
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