Journal article

Decreased Probability of Initial Pain Cessation in Classic Trigeminal Neuralgia Treated With Gamma Knife Surgery in Case of Previous Microvascular Decompression: A Prospective Series of 45 Patients With > 1 Year of Follow-up

BACKGROUND:Microvascular decompression (MVD) is the reference technique for pharmacoresistant trigeminal neuralgia (TN).OBJECTIVE:To establish whether the safety and efficacy of Gamma Knife surgery for recurrent TN are influenced by prior MVD.METHODS:Between July 1992 and November 2010, 54 of 737 patients (45 of 497 with >1 year of follow-up) had a history of MVD (approximately half also with previous ablative procedure) and were operated on with Gamma Knife surgery for TN in the Timone University Hospital. A single 4-mm isocenter was positioned in the cisternal portion of the trigeminal nerve at a median distance of 7.6 mm (range, 3.9-11.9 mm) anterior to the emergence of the nerve. A median maximum dose of 85 Gy (range, 70-90 Gy) was delivered.RESULTS:The median follow-up time was 39.5 months (range, 14.1-144.6 months). Thirty-five patients (77.8%) were initially pain free in a median time of 14 days (range, 0-180 days), much lower compared with our global population of classic TN (P = .01). Their actuarial probabilities of remaining pain-free without medication at 3, 5, 7, and 10 years were 66.5%, 59.1%, 59.1%, and 44.3%. The hypoesthesia actuarial rate at 1 year was 9.1% and remained stable until 12 years (median, 8 months).CONCLUSION:Patients with previous MVD showed a significantly lower probability of initial pain cessation compared with our global population with classic TN (P = .01). The toxicity was low (only 9.1% hypoesthesia); furthermore, no patient reported bothersome hypoesthesia. However, the probability of maintaining pain relief without medication was 44.3% at 10 years, similar to our global series of classic TN (P = .85).ABBREVIATIONS:BNI, Barrow Neurological InstituteCI, confidence intervalCTN, classic trigeminal neuralgiaGKS, Gamma Knife surgeryHR, hazard ratioMVD, microvascular decompressionTN, trigeminal neuralgia


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