Treatment options in trigeminal neuralgia.
Therapeutic advances in neurological disorders
The incidence of trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is 4.3 per 100,000 persons per year, with a slightly higher incidence for women (5.9/100,000) compared with men (3.4/100,000). There is a lack of certainty regarding the aetiology and pathophysiology of TN. The treatment of TN can be very challenging despite the numerous options patients and physicians can choose from. This multitude of treatment options poses the question as to which treatment fits which patient best. The preferred medical treatment for TN consists of anticonvulsant drugs, muscle relaxants and neuroleptic agents. Large-scale placebo-controlled clinical trials are scarce. For patients refractory to medical therapy, Gasserian ganglion percutaneous techniques, gamma knife surgery and microvascular decompression are the most promising invasive treatment options.
Edlich Richard F,Winters Kathryne L,Britt L,Long William B
Journal of long-term effects of medical implants
Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is the most common facial neuralgia, and is considered to be one of the most painful conditions to affect patients. The rate of occurrence of TN in men and women is 2.5 and 5.7 per 100,000 per year respectively. TN is generally characterized by lancinating, unilateral, paroxysmal pain occurring in the distribution of the fifth cranial nerve. The diagnosis of TN is made clinically by excluding other possible causes of facial pain and is based on signs and symptoms from the patient history such as a trigger zone, typical unilateral lancinating paroxysms following neural disturbance, and a refractory period. Generally, TN can be diagnosed by the typical patient history, a negative neurologic exam, and response to a trial of carbamazepine. Imaging studies should be considered if the diagnosis is uncertain or neurologic abnormalities are noted. Most cases are caused by compression of the trigeminal nerve root, usually within a few millimeters of entry into the pons. In a few cases, TN is caused by a primary demyelinating disorder. The treatment modalities for the management of TN may be divided into medical, surgical, and gamma-knife radiosurgery. Generally, response to drug therapy is good, with over 80% of patients responding to some of the anticonvulsants. Percutaneous approaches to trigeminal gangliolysis are considered to have less associated risk and less cost than open surgical procedures. Three different techniques may be used to perform percutaneous destruction of the ganglion: percutaneous radiofrequency trigeminal gangliolysis (PRTG), percutaneous balloon microcompression (PBM), and percutaneous retrogasserian glycerol rhizotomy (PRGR). Open surgical procedures used in the treatment of TN include microvascular decompression of the trigeminal root and retrogasserian rhizotomy. Additionally, because both of these procedures have greater associated risks, morbidity, and mortality, they are customarily applied only to younger patients in good health. Stereotactic radiosurgery has been established as an alternative treatment for patients who do not respond to optimal medical management.
Yadav Yad Ram,Nishtha Yadav,Sonjjay Pande,Vijay Parihar,Shailendra Ratre,Yatin Khare
Asian journal of neurosurgery
Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is a sudden, severe, brief, stabbing, and recurrent pain within one or more branches of the trigeminal nerve. Type 1 as intermittent and Type 2 as constant pain represent distinct clinical, pathological, and prognostic entities. Although multiple mechanism involving peripheral pathologies at root (compression or traction), and dysfunctions of brain stem, basal ganglion, and cortical pain modulatory mechanisms could have role, neurovascular conflict is the most accepted theory. Diagnosis is essentially clinically; magnetic resonance imaging is useful to rule out secondary causes, detect pathological changes in affected root and neurovascular compression (NVC). Carbamazepine is the drug of choice; oxcarbazepine, baclofen, lamotrigine, phenytoin, and topiramate are also useful. Multidrug regimens and multidisciplinary approaches are useful in selected patients. Microvascular decompression is surgical treatment of choice in TN resistant to medical management. Patients with significant medical comorbidities, without NVC and multiple sclerosis are generally recommended to undergo gamma knife radiosurgery, percutaneous balloon compression, glycerol rhizotomy, and radiofrequency thermocoagulation procedures. Partial sensory root sectioning is indicated in negative vessel explorations during surgery and large intraneural vein. Endoscopic technique can be used alone for vascular decompression or as an adjuvant to microscope. It allows better visualization of vascular conflict and entire root from pons to ganglion including ventral aspect. The effectiveness and completeness of decompression can be assessed and new vascular conflicts that may be missed by microscope can be identified. It requires less brain retraction.
A review of percutaneous treatments for trigeminal neuralgia.
Cheng Jason S,Lim Daniel A,Chang Edward F,Barbaro Nicholas M
BACKGROUND:Common treatments for trigeminal neuralgia include percutaneous techniques, microvascular decompression, and Gamma Knife radiosurgery. Although microvascular decompression is considered the gold standard for treatment, percutaneous techniques remain an effective option for select patients. OBJECTIVE:To review the historical development, advantages, and limitations of the most common percutaneous procedures for trigeminal neuralgia: balloon compression (BC), glycerol rhizotomy (GR), and radiofrequency thermocoagulation (RF). METHODS:Publications reporting clinical outcomes after BC, GR, and RF were reviewed and included. Operative technique was based on the experience of the primary surgeon and senior author. RESULTS:All 3 percutaneous techniques (BC, GR, and RF) provide effective pain relief but differ in method and specificity of nerve injury. BC selectively injures larger pain fibers while sparing small fibers and does not require an awake, cooperative patient. Pain control rates up to 91% at 6 months and 66% at 3 years have been reported. RF allows somatotopic nerve mapping and selective division lesioning and provides pain relief in up to 97% of patients initially and 58% at 5 years. Multiple treatments improve outcomes but carry significant morbidity risk. GR offers similar pain-free outcomes of 90% at 6 months and 54% at 3 years but with higher complication rates (25% vs. 16%) compared with BC. Advantages of percutaneous techniques include shorter procedure duration, minimal anesthesia risk, and in the case of GR and RF, immediate patient feedback. CONCLUSION:Percutaneous treatments for trigeminal neuralgia remain safe, simple, and effective for achieving good pain control while minimizing procedural risk.
Percutaneous Balloon Compression for Trigeminal Neuralgia: Imaging and Technical Aspects.
De Córdoba Jose Luis,García Bach Marcel,Isach Núria,Piles Salvador
Regional anesthesia and pain medicine
Trigeminal neuralgia attacks are among the most painful conditions known. Trigeminal neuralgias are hypothesized to be caused by neurovascular conflict at the trigeminal root entry zone in the prepontine cistern. A range of therapeutic options is available including open surgical microvascular decompression and several percutaneous ablative techniques (eg, radiofrequency rhizotomy and glycerol gangliolysis). Percutaneous balloon compression of the Gasserian retroganglionic rootlets has been reported to have results comparable to those of other minimally invasive techniques. This operative approach has proven popular with neurosurgeons as it is considered to be technically easier to perform than other methods. Nevertheless, pain physicians might regard this technique as challenging, relatively risky, and requiring special expertise. Accordingly, in this imaging article, we describe our percutaneous balloon compression procedure, paying particular attention to the technical and radiological details.
Trigeminal neuralgia occurs and recurs in the absence of neurovascular compression.
Lee Albert,McCartney Shirley,Burbidge Cole,Raslan Ahmed M,Burchiel Kim J
Journal of neurosurgery
OBJECT:Vascular compression of the trigeminal nerve is the most common factor associated with the etiology of trigeminal neuralgia (TN). Microvascular decompression (MVD) has proven to be the most successful and durable surgical approach for this disorder. However, not all patients with TN manifest unequivocal neurovascular compression (NVC). Furthermore, over time patients with an initially successful MVD manifest a relentless rate of TN recurrence. METHODS:The authors performed a retrospective review of cases of TN Type 1 (TN1) or Type 2 (TN2) involving patients 18 years or older who underwent evaluation (and surgery when indicated) at Oregon Health & Science University between July 2006 and February 2013. Surgical and imaging findings were correlated. RESULTS:The review identified a total of 257 patients with TN (219 with TN1 and 38 with TN2) who underwent high-resolution MRI and MR angiography with 3D reconstruction of combined images using OsiriX. Imaging data revealed that the occurrence of TN1 and TN2 without NVC was 28.8% and 18.4%, respectively. A subgroup of 184 patients underwent surgical exploration. Imaging findings were highly correlated with surgical findings, with a sensitivity of 96% for TN1 and TN2 and a specificity of 90% for TN1 and 66% for TN2. CONCLUSIONS:Magnetic resonance imaging detects NVC with a high degree of sensitivity. However, despite a diagnosis of TN1 or TN2, a significant number of patients have no NVC. Trigeminal neuralgia clearly occurs and recurs in the absence of NVC.