Gamma Knife radiosurgery for trigeminal neuralgia

Gamma Knife radiosurgery for trigeminal neuralgia

Gamma knife radiosurgery (GKRS) is one of the alternatives for treatment for classical trigeminal neuralgia (TN).

The first use of SRS by Leksell was for the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia. Initially, this was reserved for refractory cases following multiple operations 1).

The Leksell Gamma Knife and the Accuray CyberKnife systems have been used in the radiosurgical treatment of trigeminal neuralgia. The 2 techniques use different delivery methods and different treatment parameters. In the past, CyberKnife treatments have been associated with an increased incidence of treatment-related complications, such as facial numbness.

CyberKnife radiosurgical parameters can be optimized to mimic the dose distribution of Gamma Knife plans. However, Gamma Knife plans result in superior sparing of critical structures (brainstem, temporal lobe,and cranial nerves VII and VIII) and in steeper dose fall off away from the target. The clinical significance of these effects is unknown 2).

Indications

Generally recommended for patients with co-morbidities, high-risk medical illness, pain refractory to prior surgical procedures, or those on anticoagulants (anticoagulation does not have to be reversed to have SRS).

Mechanism

The exact mechanism of pain relief after radiosurgery is not clearly understood. Histopathology examination of the trigeminal nerve in humans after radiosurgery is rarely performed and has produced controversial results.

There is evidence of histological damage of the trigeminal nerve fibers after radiosurgery therapy. Whether or not the presence and degree of nerve damage correlate with the degree of clinical benefit and side effects are not revealed and need to be explored in future studies 3).

Existing studies leave important doubts as to optimal treatment doses or the therapeutic target, long-term recurrence, and do not help identify which subgroups of patients could most benefit from this technique 4).

Treatment plan

4 -5 mm isocenter in the trigeminal nerve root entry zone identified on MRI. Use 70–80 Gy at the center, keeping the 80% isodose curve outside of the brainstem.

Results: Significant pain reduction after initial SRS: 80–96% 5) 6) 7) 8) but only ≈ 65% become pain free. Median latency to pain relief: 3 months (range: 1 d-13 months) 9).

Recurrent pain occurs with in three years in 10–25%. Patients with TN and multiple sclerosis are less likely to respond to SRS than those without MS. SRS can be repeated, but only after four months following the original procedure.

Outcome

Favorable prognosticators: higher radiation doses, previously unoperated patient, absence of atypical pain component, normal pre-treatment sensory function 10).

Side effects: Hypesthesia occurred in 20% after initial SRS, and in 32% of those requiring repeat treatment 11) (higher rates associated with higher radiation doses) 12).

Repeat Radiosurgery for Trigeminal Neuralgia

Case series

A total of 263 patients contributed by 9 member tertiary referral Gamma Knife centers (2 in Canada and 7 in USA) of the International Gamma Knife Research Consortium (IGKRF) constituted this study.

The median latency period of Facial pain response (PR) after SRS was 1 mo. Reasonable pain control (Barrow Neurological Institute Pain Scale I-IIIb) was achieved in 232 patients (88.2%). The median maintenance period from SRS was 14.1 months (range, 10 days to 10 years). The actuarial reasonable pain control maintenance rates at 1 yr, 2 yr, and 4 yr were 54%, 35%, and 24%, respectively. There was a correlation between the status of achieving BNI-I and the maintenance of facial pain recurrence-free rate. The median recurrence-free rate was 36 mo and 12.2 mo in patients achieving BNI-I and BNI > I, respectively (P = .046). Among 210 patients with known status of post-SRS complications, the new-onset of facial numbness (BNI-I or II) after SRS occurred in 21 patients (10%).

In this largest series SRS offers a reasonable benefit to risk profile for patients who have exhausted medical management. More favorable initial response to SRS may predict a long-lasting pain control 13).

2016

One hundred seventeen patients with medically refractory TN treated by GKRS at the Department of Functional Neurosurgery and Gamma Knife Radiosurgery, and Department of Neurology, Ruber International Hospital, Madrid, Spain were followed up between 1993 and 2011. Mean maximum dose was 86.5 Gy (range: 80-90 Gy; median: 90 Gy). Clinical response was defined based on the Burchiel classification. They considered classes I and II as a complete response. For toxicity, they use the Barrow Neurological Institute Pain Scale. Mean duration of follow-up was 66 months (range: 24-171 months).

Complete response at last follow-up in our patients was 81%, with an excellent response while off medication in 52%. Pain-free rates without medication (class I) were 85% at 3 years (confidence interval [CI]: 78%-94%), 81% at 5 years (CI: 72%-91%), and 76% at 7 years (CI: 65%-90%). Complete response rates (classes I-II) were 91% at 3 years (CI: 86%-97%), 86% at 5 years (CI: 79%-93%), and 82% at 7 years (CI: 72%-93%). Poor treatment response rates differed significantly between patients who had undergone previous surgery and were refractory to management with medication prior to GKRS. New or worsening facial numbness was reported in 32.5% (30% score II and 2.5% score III). No anesthesia dolorosa was reported. Permanent recurrence pain rate was 12%.

GKRS achieved favorable outcomes compared with surgery in terms of pain relief and complication rates in our cohort of patients, notwithstanding decreasing pain-free survival rates over time. They consider GKRS to be an initial treatment in the management of medically intractable TN in selected patients 14).


In a single-center, retrospective comparative study, 202 patients with MS and concomitant TN were evaluated. A minimum follow-up of 24 months was required. Patients with a history of microvascular decompression or previous intervention were excluded. There were 78 PBC procedures performed and 124 first-dosage GKRS procedures for a total of 202 patients between February 2009 and December 2013. The PBC procedures were successfully completed in all cases. The two groups were compared with regards to initial effect, duration of effect, and rate of complication(s), including the type and severity of the complication(s).

Immediate pain relief resulted in 87% of patients treated with PBC and in 23% of patients treated with GKRS. The Kaplan-Meier plots for the two treatment modalities were similar. The 50% recurrence rate was at 12 months for the PBC and 18 months for the GKRS. The rates of complication (excluding numbness) were 3% for GKRS and 21% for PBC. The difference was statistically significant (Chi-square test, p = 0.03).

PBC and GKRS are effective techniques for the treatment of TN in patients with MS, with GKRS presenting fewer complications and superior long-term relief. For these reasons, we consider GKRS as the first option for the treatment of TN in MS patients, reserving PBC for patients with acute, intractable pain 15).

References

1)

Lunsford LD. Comment on Taha J M and Tew J M: Comparison of Surgical Treatmen ts for Trigemin al Neuralgia: Reevaluation of Radiofrequency Rhizotomy. Neurosurgery. 1996; 38
2)

Descovich M, Sneed PK, Barbaro NM, McDermott MW, Chuang CF, Barani IJ, Nakamura JL, Lijun M. A dosimetric comparison between Gamma Knife and CyberKnife treatment plans for trigeminal neuralgia. J Neurosurg. 2010 Dec;113 Suppl:199-206. PubMed PMID: 21222296.
3)

Al-Otaibi F, Alhindi H, Alhebshi A, Albloushi M, Baeesa S, Hodaie M. Histopathological effects of radiosurgery on a human trigeminal nerve. Surg Neurol Int. 2014 Jan 18;4(Suppl 6):S462-7. doi: 10.4103/2152-7806.125463. eCollection 2013. PubMed PMID: 24605252.
4)

Varela-Lema L, Lopez-Garcia M, Maceira-Rozas M, Munoz-Garzon V. Linear Accelerator Stereotactic Radiosurgery for Trigeminal Neuralgia. Pain Physician. 2015 Jan-Feb;18(1):15-27. PubMed PMID: 25675056.
5)

Brisman R. Gamma knife surgery with a dose fo 75 to 76.8 Gray for trigeminal neuralgia. J Neurosurg. 2004; 100:848–854
6)

Pollock BE, Phuong LK, Foote RL, Sta ord SL, Gorman DA. High-dose trigeminal neuralgia radiosurgery associated with increased risk of trigeminal nerve dysfunction. Neurosurgery. 2001; 49:58–62; discussion 62-4
7) , 12)

Kondziolka D, Lunsford LD, Flickinger JC. Stereotact ic radiosurgery for the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia. Clin J Pain. 2002; 18:42–47
8)

Massager N, Lorenzoni J, Devriendt D, Desmedt F, Brotch i J, Levivier M. Gamma kn ife surgery for idiopathic trigeminal neuralgia performed using a far-anterior cisternal target and a high dose of radiation. J Neurosurg. 2004; 100:597–605
9) , 11)

Urgosik D, Liscak R, Novotny J, Jr, Vymazal J, Vladyka V. Treatment of essential trigeminal neuralgia with gamma knife surgery. J Neurosurg. 2005; 102 Suppl:29–33
10)

Maesawa S, Salame C, Flickinger JC, Pirris S, Kondziolka D, Lunsford LD. Clinical outcomes after stereotactic radiosurgery for idiopathic trigeminal neuralgia. J Neurosurg. 2001; 94:14–20
13)

Xu Z, Mathieu D, Heroux F, Abbassy M, Barnett G, Mohammadi AM, Kano H, Caruso J, Shih HH, Grills IS, Lee K, Krishnan S, Kaufmann AM, Lee JYK, Alonso-Basanta M, Kerr M, Pierce J, Kondziolka D, Hess JA, Gerrard J, Chiang V, Lunsford LD, Sheehan JP. Stereotactic Radiosurgery for Trigeminal Neuralgia in Patients With Multiple Sclerosis: A Multicenter Study. Neurosurgery. 2019 Feb 1;84(2):499-505. doi: 10.1093/neuros/nyy142. PubMed PMID: 29688562.
14)

Martínez Moreno NE, Gutiérrez-Sárraga J, Rey-Portolés G, Jiménez-Huete A, Martínez Álvarez R. Long-Term Outcomes in the Treatment of Classical Trigeminal Neuralgia by Gamma Knife Radiosurgery: A Retrospective Study in Patients With Minimum 2-Year Follow-up. Neurosurgery. 2016 Dec;79(6):879-888. PubMed PMID: 27560193.
15)

Alvarez-Pinzon AM, Wolf AL, Swedberg HN, Barkley KA, Cucalon J, Curia L, Valerio JE. Comparison of Percutaneous Retrograsserian Balloon Compression and Gamma Knife Radiosurgery for the Treatment of Trigeminal Neuralgia in Multiple Sclerosis: A Clinical Research Study Article. World Neurosurg. 2016 Oct 15. pii: S1878-8750(16)31016-6. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2016.10.028. PubMed PMID: 27756676.

Bilateral anterior cingulotomy

Bilateral anterior cingulotomy

Bilateral anterior cingulotomy is a form of psychosurgery, introduced in 1948 as an alternative to lobotomy.

Lesioning of the target area is typically performed using bilateral stereotactic electrode placement and target ablation, which involves transparenchymal access through both hemispheres.

Lauri Laitinen was a pioneer of stereotactic psychosurgery in the 1950s to 1970s, especially by introducing the subgenual cingulotomy.

Indications

Bilateral anterior cingulotomy has been used to treat chronic pain, obsessive compulsive disorder.

In the early years of the twenty-first century it was used in Russia to treat addiction.

The objective of this surgical procedure is the severing of the supracallosal fibres of the cingulum bundle, which pass through the anterior cingulate gyrus.

Early localizationists linked anterior cingulate cortex (ACC: Brodmann’s area 24 and adjacent regions) with emotional behavior, paving the way for bilateral cingulotomy psychosurgery in severe, treatment resistant, cases of obsessive-compulsive disorder, chronic pain, depression, and substance abuse.

Limbic system surgery based on initial cingulotomy offers a durable and effective treatment option for appropriately selected patients with severe obsessive compulsive disorder who have not responded to conventional pharmacotherapy or psychotherapy 1).


There are features of anterior cingulate cortex structure and connectivity that predict clinical response to dorsal anterior cingulotomy for refractory obsessive compulsive disorder. These results suggest that the variability seen in individual responses to a highly consistent, stereotyped procedure may be due to neuroanatomical variation in the patients. Furthermore, these variations may allow us to predict which patients are most likely to respond to cingulotomy, thereby refining our ability to individualize this treatment for refractory psychiatric disorders 2)


The presence of neuropathic pain can severely impinge on emotional regulation and activities of daily living including social activities, resulting in diminished life satisfaction. Unfortunately, the majority of patients with neuropathic pain do not experience an amelioration of symptoms from conventional therapies, even when multimodal therapies are used. Chronic refractory neuropathic pain is usually accompanied by severe depression that is prone to incur suicidal events; thus clinical management of chronic neuropathic pain and depression presents a serious challenge for clinicians and patients

Two patients presented with neuropathic pain and severe depression. The patients had different pain symptoms emerging a few months after central or peripheral nervous system impairment. These symptoms were associated with the development of severe depression, social isolation, and a gradual inability to perform daily activities. Both patients were referred for bilateral anterior cingulotomy. After surgery, both patients showed significant progressive improvements in perceived pain, mental health status, and daily functioning.

Bilateral anterior cingulotomy may serve as an alternative treatment for medically refractory neuropathic pain, especially for patients who also experience depression 3).


Stereotactic anterior cingulotomy has been used in the treatment of patients suffering from refractory oncological pain due to its effects on pain perception. However, the optimal targets as well as suitable candidates and outcome measures have not been well defined. We report our initial experience in the ablation of 2 cingulotomy targets on each side and the use of the Brief Pain Inventory (BPI) as a perioperative assessment tool.

A retrospective review of all patients who underwent stereotactic anterior cingulotomy in our Department between November 2015 and February 2017 was performed. All patients had advanced metastatic cancer with limited prognosis and suffered from intractable oncological pain.

Thirteen patients (10 women and 3 men) underwent 14 cingulotomy procedures. Their mean age was 54 ± 14 years. All patients reported substantial pain relief immediately after the operation. Out of the 6 preoperatively bedridden patients, 3 started ambulating shortly after. At the 1-month follow-up, the mean preoperative Visual Analogue Scale score decreased from 9 ± 0.9 to 4 ± 2.7 (p = 0.003). Mean BPI pain severity and interference scores decreased from levels of 29 ± 4 and 55 ± 12 to 16 ± 12 (p = 0.028) and 37 ± 15 (p = 0.043), respectively. During the 1- and 3-month follow-up visits, 9/11 patients (82%) and 5/7 patients (71%) available for follow-up reported substantial pain relief. No patient reported worsening of pain during the study period. Neuropsychological analyses of 6 patients showed stable cognitive functions with a mild nonsignificant decline in focused attention and executive functions. Adverse events included transient confusion or mild apathy in 5 patients (38%) lasting 1-4 weeks.

The initial experience indicates that double stereotactic cingulotomy is safe and effective in alleviating refractory oncological pain 4).

Case series

Four MRgLITT bilateral cingulotomy procedures were performed in 3 patients. Two patients had a single MRgLITT procedure while the third had repeat ablation after pain recurrence. First time ablation coordinates were (medians): x = 7.9 mm (range, 6.9-8.6); y = 20.5 mm (range, 20-22); z = 6.9 mm (range, 2.9-7.0) above the lateral ventricle roof. Median trajectory length was 85.5 mm (range, 80-90). Median ablation volume was 1.5 cm3 (range, 0.6-1.2). Median ablation time was 257 seconds (range, 136-338) per cingulum and power was 10.0 Watts (range, 10-11). Median preoperative pain severity (PSS) and interference scores (PIS) were 7.7 (range, 7.5-9.3) and 9.9 (range, 9.7-10.0), respectively. Median postoperative PSS and PIS scores were 1.6 (range, 1.0-2.8) and 2.0 (range, 0.3-2.6), respectively.

MRgLITT cingulotomy is well tolerated for treatment of cancer pain and can be easily performed framelessly for appropriate candidates 5).


Seven patients suffering from refractory OCD underwent stereotactic surgery and were followed for 12 months. The Yale-Brown Obsessive Compulsive Scale (Y-BOCS) was used to assess the efficacy. The test was taken before and 6 and 12 months after surgery.

The mean Y-BOCS scores decreased significantly from 32.9 ± 4.7 at baseline to 20.6 ± 5.3 after 12 months. Five out of the 7 patients showed a decrease of more than 35%. During the 12-month follow-up, the effective rate had increased from 28.6 to 71.4%. There were no significant adverse effects observed after surgery.

The BACI and BACA were effective for the treatment of refractory OCD, and no significant adverse effects on long-term follow-up were found 6).


Bilateral radiofrequency cingulotomy was performed in 10 patients. The technique involved stereotaxis using magnetic resonance guidance and local anesthesia, with the placement of a radiofrequency lesion (75 degrees, 60s). Of the 10 patients, 8 had metastatic lesions with musculoskeletal (6) or neurogenic (2) pain. Pain relief was judged excellent (4 patients), fair (1), poor (2) and excellent for 6 months poor in the last patient. The two benign lesions were neurofibromatosis with neurogenic pain and thalamic pain from an old stroke. Pain relief (with 1 year follow-up) in this group was judged excellent in one and poor in the other (thalamic pain) 7).


Forty-two patients out of 300 who had undergone bilateral stereotactic cingulotomies were studied by means of computerized tomography (CT). The appearance showed bilateral encephalomalacia, measuring on the average 5 X 7 mm2, located in the cingulate gyrus. These induced lesions had attenuation values similar to cerebrospinal fluid and did not enhance with contrast. CT is a useful technique for initial evaluation, management, and follow up of these patients 8).

Case reports

Huotarinen et al., found 1 patient alive who underwent subgenual cingulotomy in 1971 for obsessive thoughts, anxiety, and compulsions, diagnosed at that time as “schizophrenia psychoneurotica.” MRI showed bilateral subgenual cingulotomy lesions (254 and 160 mm3, respectively). The coordinates of the center of the lesions in relation to the midcommissural point for the right and left, respectively, were: 7.1 and 7.9 mm lateral; 0.2 mm inferior and 1.4 mm superior, and 33.0 and 33.9 anterior, confirming correct subgenual targeting. The patient reported retrospective satisfactory results.

The lesion in this patient was found to be in the expected location, which gives some verification of the correct placement of Laitinen’s subgenus cingulotomy target 9).


A case of debilitating thoracic wall pain due to malignant mesothelioma relieved by bilateral anterior cingulotomy is described and changes in dyspnoea investigated.

Improvements in pain, dyspnoea and the extent to which either symptom bothered the patient was seen for 2 months after surgery before disease progression led to death 5 months after surgery. Quality of life improvements were also seen for 2 months after surgery and pain relief was sustained from surgery to death. Arterial blood gas and lung function tests were unchanged by surgery, suggesting a reduction in pain and dyspnoea awareness by cingulotomy.

Bilateral anterior cingulotomy effectively relieved both pain and dyspnoea. The role of the anterior cingulate cortex in pain and autonomic control of respiration is discussed alongside the evidence for this palliative procedure for cancer pain 10).

Books

by Ernest. Feigenbaum (Author)

References

1)

Sheth SA, Neal J, Tangherlini F, Mian MK, Gentil A, Cosgrove GR, Eskandar EN, Dougherty DD. Limbic system surgery for treatment-refractory obsessive-compulsive disorder: a prospective long-term follow-up of 64 patients. J Neurosurg. 2013 Mar;118(3):491-7. doi: 10.3171/2012.11.JNS12389. Epub 2012 Dec 14. PubMed PMID: 23240700.
2)

Banks GP, Mikell CB, Youngerman BE, Henriques B, Kelly KM, Chan AK, Herrera D, Dougherty DD, Eskandar EN, Sheth SA. Neuroanatomical Characteristics Associated With Response to Dorsal Anterior Cingulotomy for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. JAMA Psychiatry. 2014 Dec 23. doi: 10.1001/jamapsychiatry.2014.2216. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 25536384.
3)

Deng Z, Pan Y, Li D, Zhang C, Jin H, Wang T, Zhan S, Sun B. Effect of Bilateral Anterior Cingulotomy on Chronic Neuropathic Pain with Severe Depression. World Neurosurg. 2019 Jan;121:196-200. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2018.10.008. Epub 2018 Oct 10. PubMed PMID: 30315971.
4)

Strauss I, Berger A, Ben Moshe S, Arad M, Hochberg U, Gonen T, Tellem R. Double Anterior Stereotactic Cingulotomy for Intractable Oncological Pain. Stereotact Funct Neurosurg. 2018 Jan 10;95(6):400-408. doi: 10.1159/000484613. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 29316566.
5)

Patel NV, Agarwal N, Mammis A, Danish SF. Frameless stereotactic magnetic resonance imaging-guided laser interstitial thermal therapy to perform bilateral anterior cingulotomy for intractable pain: feasibility, technical aspects, and initial experience in 3 patients. Neurosurgery. 2015 Mar;11 Suppl 2:17-25; discussion 25. doi: 10.1227/NEU.0000000000000581. PubMed PMID: 25584953.
6)

Zhang QJ, Wang WH, Wei XP. Long-term efficacy of stereotactic bilateral anterior cingulotomy and bilateral anterior capsulotomy as a treatment for refractory obsessive-compulsive disorder. Stereotact Funct Neurosurg. 2013;91(4):258-61. doi: 10.1159/000348275. Epub 2013 May 7. PubMed PMID: 23652367.
7)

Pillay PK, Hassenbusch SJ. Bilateral MRI-guided stereotactic cingulotomy for intractable pain. Stereotact Funct Neurosurg. 1992;59(1-4):33-8. PubMed PMID: 1295044.
8)

Bernad PG, Ballantine HT. Computed tomographic analysis of bilateral cingulotomy for intractable mood disturbance and chronic pain. Comput Radiol. 1987 May-Jun;11(3):117-23. PubMed PMID: 3301189.
9)

Huotarinen A, Kivisaari R, Hariz M. Laitinen’s Subgenual Cingulotomy: Anatomical Location and Case Report. Stereotact Funct Neurosurg. 2018;96(5):342-346. doi: 10.1159/000492058. Epub 2018 Oct 2. PubMed PMID: 30278436.
10)

Pereira EA, Paranathala M, Hyam JA, Green AL, Aziz TZ. Anterior cingulotomy improves malignant mesothelioma pain and dyspnoea. Br J Neurosurg. 2014 Aug;28(4):471-4. doi: 10.3109/02688697.2013.857006. Epub 2013 Nov 7. PubMed PMID: 24199940.

Percutaneous balloon compression trigeminal rhizotomy for multiple sclerosis related trigeminal neuralgia

Percutaneous balloon compression trigeminal rhizotomy for multiple sclerosis related trigeminal neuralgia

Many patients with multiple sclerosis related trigeminal neuralgia have pain that is centrally mediated, reducing the effectiveness of procedures performed on the trigeminal roottrigeminal ganglion, or divisions 1).

Balloon compression had the highest rate of initial pain-free response (IPFR) and duration of pain-free intervals (PFIs), compared with other modalities in the initial treatment of MS-related TN 2). It could be considered a useful technique for patients whose pain recurs after other procedures 3).

Percutaneous balloon compression PBC is a treatment that can be effective for many patients with MS-TN 4).

Compared with that in non-MS patients, symptom recurrence is higher and requires multiple procedures 5).

Repeated previous surgeries is a risk factor for an unsatisfactory outcome. However, the patients with multiple surgeries had less satisfactory results already at the first procedure, indicating that a therapy resistant disease can be predicted after the first two PBCs. Postoperative sensory deficits were common but not lasting 6).


One hundred eleven procedures with Percutaneous balloon compression (PBC) performed in 66 cases of Multiple sclerosis related trigeminal neuralgia (MS-TN) were analyzed. Therapeutic effect was measured as postoperative time to pain recurrence without medication. All complications were compiled and the sensory function was evaluated in a subgroup of cases.

The initial pain free rate was 67% and the median time to pain recurrence was 8 mo. Thirty-six patients were treated with PBC only, and among them, the results were worse if treated 3 to 4 times before, compared to first treatment (P = .009-.034). Patients who had several PBCs had worse results already after the first surgery (P < .001). A significant number of patients had impaired sensation to light touch directly after surgery, which was normalized at the late follow-up. Sensimetric testing showed raised thresholds for perception and pain directly after surgery (P = .004-.03), but these were also normalized at the late follow-up.

PBC is a treatment that can be effective for many patients with MS-TN. Repeated previous surgeries is a risk factor for an unsatisfactory outcome. However, the patients with multiple surgeries had less satisfactory results already at the first procedure, indicating that a therapy resistant disease can be predicted after the first two PBCs. Postoperative sensory deficits were common but not lasting 7).


Retrospectively collected clinical data on 80 consecutive patients who underwent 144 procedures and who received PBC for TN treatment between January 2000 and January 2010 were analyzed. The cohort included 17 MS and 63 non-MS patients.

The mean age at first operation was significantly younger in the MS group compared with the non-MS group (59 years vs 72 years, respectively, p < 0.0001). After a mean follow-up of 43 months (MS group) and 25 months (non-MS group), the symptom recurrence rate following the first operation was higher in the MS group compared with that in the non-MS group (86% vs 47%, respectively, p < 0.01). During long-term follow-up, more than 70% of MS patients required multiple procedures compared with only 44% of non-MS patients. Excellent or satisfactory outcomes were not significantly different between the MS and non-MS cohorts, respectively, at 1 day postoperatively (82% vs 91%, p = 0.35), 3 months postoperatively (65% vs 81%, p = 0.16), and at last follow-up (65% vs 76%, p = 0.34). A similar incidence of postoperative complications was observed in the 2 groups.

PBC is effective in the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia in patients with MS, but, compared with that in non-MS patients, symptom recurrence is higher and requires multiple procedures 8).


During the period 2000-2012, 10 patients with medically refractory TN and ipsilateral brainstem T2 hyperintensity underwent MVD. In 5 patients, additional clinical features suspicious for MS were present, including prior optic neuritis (n = 2), multiple disseminated lesions (n = 3), and elevated immunoglobulin G index (n = 2). One patient had failed prior percutaneous surgery; 1 patient had Burchiel type 2 TN. Follow-up (median, 14 months) was censored at the time of additional surgery (n = 6) or last clinic visit (n = 4).

Neurovascular compression was confirmed at surgery from the superior cerebellar artery (SCA) plus adjacent vein (n = 4), vein alone (n = 3), SCA alone (n = 2), and SCA plus anterior inferior cerebellar artery (n = 1). Initially after MVD, 8 patients (80%) were pain-free and subsequently tapered off medications for their facial pain. Pain recurred in 6 patients at a median of 4 months (range, 1-23 months). Actuarial rates of being pain-free off medications were 50% at 3 months and 15% at 2 years. In 6 patients, additional treatments were performed, including glycerol rhizotomy (n = 4), radiosurgery (n = 2), balloon compression (n = 2), and repeat MVD (n = 1). At last contact, 5 of the 6 patients who were retreated were pain-free.

Facial pain outcomes after MVD in patients with suspected MS-related TN are poor compared with outcomes for patients with idiopathic TN. This study provides further support that many patients with MS-related TN have pain that is centrally mediated, reducing the effectiveness of procedures performed on the trigeminal root, ganglion, or divisions 9).


Seven patients had TN related to multiple sclerosis (MS). Mean follow-up was 51.81 ± 26.63 months. 81.81 % of patients reported an acute pain relief. No major complication was observed after PBC. Eight patients (36.36 %) experienced pain recurrence and underwent one (five patients) or more (three patients) PBC. At the last follow-up, we obtained an excellent outcome (BNI I-II) in 16 patients out of 22 (72.72 %) and a good outcome (BNI III) in the remaining six. No patients had an uncontrolled pain. The lack of history of MS (p = 0.0174), the pear-like shape of the balloon at the operation (p = 0.0234) and a compression time <5 min (p < 0.05) were associated to higher pain-free survival. Considering these results PBC could be considered a useful technique for patients whose pain recurs after other procedures 10).


Balloon compression had the highest rate of initial pain-free response (IPFR) and duration of pain-free intervals (PFIs), compared with other modalities in the initial treatment of MS-related TN 11).

References

1) , 9)

Ariai MS, Mallory GW, Pollock BE. Outcomes after microvascular decompression for patients with trigeminal neuralgia and suspected multiple sclerosis. World Neurosurg. 2014 Mar-Apr;81(3-4):599-603. doi: 10.1016/j.wneu.2013.09.027. Epub 2013 Sep 19. PubMed PMID: 24056218.
2) , 11)

Mohammad-Mohammadi A, Recinos PF, Lee JH, Elson P, Barnett GH. Surgical outcomes of trigeminal neuralgia in patients with multiple sclerosis. Neurosurgery. 2013 Dec;73(6):941-50; discussion 950. doi: 10.1227/NEU.0000000000000128. PubMed PMID: 23921703.
3) , 10)

Montano N, Papacci F, Cioni B, Di Bonaventura R, Meglio M. The role of percutaneous balloon compression in the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia recurring after other surgical procedures. Acta Neurol Belg. 2014 Mar;114(1):59-64. doi: 10.1007/s13760-013-0263-x. Epub 2013 Dec 12. PubMed PMID: 24338759.
4) , 6) , 7)

Asplund P, Linderoth B, Lind G, Winter J, Bergenheim AT. One hundred eleven Percutaneous Balloon Compressions for Trigeminal Neuralgia in a Cohort of 66 Patients with Multiple Sclerosis. Oper Neurosurg (Hagerstown). 2019 Jan 23. doi: 10.1093/ons/opy402. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 30690631.
5) , 8)

Martin S, Teo M, Suttner N. The effectiveness of percutaneous balloon compression in the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia in patients with multiple sclerosis. J Neurosurg. 2015 Dec;123(6):1507-11. doi: 10.3171/2014.11.JNS14736. Epub 2015 Jun 12. PubMed PMID: 26067615.
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