Stereotactic radiosurgery for idiopathic trigeminal neuralgia

Bruce E. Pollock, Loi K. Phuong, Deborah A. Gorman, Robert L. Foote, Scott L. Stafford

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

194 Scopus citations

Abstract

Object. Each year a greater number of patients with trigeminal neuralgia (TN) undergo radiosurgery, including a large number of patients who are candidates for microvascular decompression (MVD). Methods. The case characteristics and outcomes of 117 consecutive patients who underwent radiosurgery were retrieved from a prospectively maintained database. The mean patient age was 67.8 years; and the majority (58%) of patients had undergone surgery previously. The dependent variable for all analyses of facial pain was complete pain relief without medication (excellent outcome). Median follow-up duration was 26 months (range 1-48 months). The actuarial rate of achieving and maintaining an excellent outcome was 57% and 55% at 1 and 3 years, respectively, after radiosurgery. A greater percentage of patients who had not previously undergone surgery achieved and maintained excellent outcomes (67% at 1 and 3 years) than that of patients who had undergone prior surgery (51% and 47% at 1 and 3 years, respectively; relative risk [RR] = 1.77, 95% confidence interval [CI] 1.01-3.13, p = 0.04). New persistent trigeminal dysfunction was noted in 43 patients (37%). Tolerable numbness or paresthesias occurred in 29 patients (25%), whereas bothersome dysesthesias developed in 14 patients (12%). Only a radiation dose of 90 Gy correlated with new trigeminal deficits or dysesthesias (RR = 3.10, 95% CI 1.64-5.81, p < 0.001). Excellent outcomes in patients with new trigeminal dysfunction were achieved and maintained at rates of 76% and 74% at 1 and 3 years, respectively, after radiosurgery, compared with respective rates of 46% and 42% in patients who did not experience postradiosurgery trigeminal dysfunction (RR = 4.53, 95% CI 2.03-9.95, p < 0.01). Conclusions. Radiosurgical treatment provides complete pain relief for the majority of patients with idiopathic TN. There is a strong correlation between the development of new facial sensory loss and achievement and maintenance of pain relief after this procedure. Because the long-term results of radiosurgery still remain unknown, MVD should continue to be the primary operation for medically fit patients with TN.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)347-353
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of neurosurgery
Volume97
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2002

Keywords

  • Facial pain
  • Stereotactic radiosurgery
  • Trigeminal neuralgia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology

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    Pollock, B. E., Phuong, L. K., Gorman, D. A., Foote, R. L., & Stafford, S. L. (2002). Stereotactic radiosurgery for idiopathic trigeminal neuralgia. Journal of neurosurgery, 97(2), 347-353. https://doi.org/10.3171/jns.2002.97.2.0347