Glossopharyngeal neuralgia associated with cardiac syncope: Two case reports and literature review

Antonios Krasoudakis, Dimitrios Anyfantakis, Athanasios Hadjipetrou, Miltiades Kastanakis, Emmanouil K Symvoulakis, Stavros Marathianos
International Journal of Surgery Case Reports 2015, 12: 4-6

INTRODUCTION: Vago-glossopharyngeal neuralgia is an unusual clinical syndrome characterized by paroxysms of sharp pain in the distribution of glossopharyngeal nerve. Rarely the condition is associated with arrhythmia and cardiac syncope, a phenomenon named vagoglossopharyngeal neuralgia.

PRESENTATION OF CASES: Here we present two patients with glosopharyngeal neuralgia associated with repetitive episodes of syncope referred from their primary care physician to neurosurgery department of a general hospital in Crete, Greece. The patients were successfully treated with microvascular decompression.

DISCUSSION: A literature review on pathogenesis, diagnosis and management is also performed.

CONCLUSIONS: Surgeons as well as primary care physicians have to be aware of this rare condition in order to prevent associated life-threatening complications and improve patient's clinical status with accurate therapy.

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