JOURNAL ARTICLE
RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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X-knife stereotactic radiosurgery on the trigeminal ganglion to treat trigeminal neuralgia: a preliminary study.

BACKGROUND: Stereotactic radiosurgery is an attractive option for elderly patients and those who do not tolerate the more invasive surgical procedures available for trigeminal neuralgia (TN). In the majority of the studies, the target location was designated as the proximal nerve at the root entry zone (REZ). The purpose of this article was to evaluate the efficacy of and complications associated with X-knife stereotactic radiosurgery on the trigeminal ganglion (TG) for TN.

PATIENTS AND METHODS: 40 patients with typical idiopathic TN were treated with X-knife. The maximum radiation dose was 70 Gy. A 4-mm collimator and a 9-arc technique were employed. Treatment was focused at the TG.

RESULTS: At the last follow-up (mean follow-up period: 7.9 months, range: 1-19 months), pain relief for all patients was excellent in 16 (40%), good in 17 (42.5%), for a total success rate of 82.8%. The mean time to initial relief was 12.5 days ranging from immediate in onset (<24 h) to 2 months. One patient (3.0%) experienced some recurrent pain. 3 patients (7.5%) experienced noticeable subjective facial numbness. Hearing impairment was found in 1 patient (2.5%), and ulceration of the temporal skin was seen in 2 patients (5%).

CONCLUSION: Similar to other TN radiosurgery reports, X-knife stereotactic radiosurgery for TN provides effective pain relief with a low complication rate.

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