Microvascular decompression of the posterior inferior cerebellar artery for intermediate nerve neuralgia

Humberto Kluge Schroeder, Iuri Santana Neville, Daniel Ciampi de Andrade, Guilherme Alves Lepski, Manoel Jacobsen Teixeira, Kleber Paiva Duarte
Surgical Neurology International 2015, 6: 52

BACKGROUND: Intermediate nerve neuralgia (INN) is an extremely rare craniofacial pain disorder mainly caused by neurovascular compression.

CASE DESCRIPTION: We present the case of a 48-year-old female with a 20-month history of intractable paroxysmal INN on the right side. The patient described feeling paroxysmal pain in her auditory canal, pinna, deep in the jaw, and adjacent retromastoid area on the right side. She described the pain as being like a burning sensation. Magnetic resonance imaging showed the right posterior cerebellar artery crossing the cerebellopontine cistern in close contact with the right VII and VIII nerves. Surgical exploration via retromastoid craniotomy revealed vascular compression of the intermediate nerve by the posterior cerebellar artery. We therefore performed microvascular nerve decompression to relieve pain, and the patient remained pain-free at the 6-month follow-up visit.

CONCLUSION: INN should be considered as a differential diagnosis in cases with atypical facial neuralgia, and microvascular decompression is an effective treatment option that can provide optimal pain relief.

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