Auricular Acupuncture vs SOC in Migraine HA (MigAcu)

  • End date
    Dec 4, 2022
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    University of Louisville
Updated on 4 March 2022


Patients with migraine headache will be offered the opportunity to participate in this randomized study evaluating auricular acupuncture versus standard treatment for migraine headaches for patients in the pediatric emergency department (ED).


Potential subjects will be identified using the diagnosis of migraine headache classified by the modified ICHD-II (International Classification for Headache Disorders) criteria proposed by Hershey et. al. This diagnosis will be confirmed by the investigators prior to enrollment of the subject and will be documented in the study documents. Subjects will be recruited during the scheduled work or research hours of the investigators in the ED.

Eligible patients will be informed of the study including a discussion of the two possible interventions. After informed consent and assent are obtained, patients will be randomly assigned 1 of the 2 arms of the study. The target is 40 subjects in each arm. Subjects will be assigned to a study group using a computer generated randomization schema. This randomization will only be known to one unblinded collaborator that will not be enrolling subjects or be involved in the data analysis.

If assigned to receive intravenous migraine medications the subject will be treated with the standard of care medications which include ketorolac (0.5mg/kg, max 30mg), metoclopramide (0.1 mg/kg, max 10mg), diphenhydramine (1mg/kg, max 50mg) plus a normal saline fluid bolus (20mL/kg, max 1000mL).

If assigned to the auricular acupuncture arm, efficacious ear points will be located by a needle contact test and/or an electrical point finder which emits an acoustic alarm when a change in electrical resistance is detected signifying a potential active auricular acupoint. If the subject does not improve with acupuncture, they will be assessed by the ED physician and at the MD discretion further emergency department treatment will be administered which may include intravenous migraine medications as this is the current standard of care in the Norton Children's Hospital/Norton Children's Medical Center (KCH/KCMC) ED.

All subjects will be contacted 2 to 6 days after discharge to determine their clinical status. If the darts are still in place at the follow-up call, the subjects will be contacted at 2 weeks and weekly thereafter until all darts have fallen out.

Condition Migraine Headache
Treatment Auricular acupuncture, Ketorolac 0.5mg/kg, max 30mg, Metoclopramide 0.1 mg/kg, max 10mg, Diphenhydramine 1mg/kg, max 50mg, Normal saline fluid bolus 20mL/kg, max 1000mL
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT02681211
SponsorUniversity of Louisville
Last Modified on4 March 2022


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Confirmation of the diagnosis of migraine headache

Exclusion Criteria

Patients who received ED migraine medications (including ibuprofen or other NSAIDS) prior to study evaluation
Allergy to any of the medications used in our migraine regimen protocol
Patients exhibiting focal clinical neurological exam findings that the investigator deems makes the patient not a good candidate for this study
Patients with underlying abnormal brain pathology (e.g. mass or bleed) as the potential cause of the migraine
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Additional screening procedures may be conducted by the study team before you can be confirmed eligible to participate.

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If you are confirmed eligible after full screening, you will be required to understand and sign the informed consent if you decide to enroll in the study. Once enrolled you may be asked to make scheduled visits over a period of time.

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Complete your scheduled study participation activities and then you are done. You may receive summary of study results if provided by the sponsor.

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