Invasive and Not Invasive Electrical Neuromodulation in Trigeminal Nerve Neuralgia: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Sara Garcia-Isidoro, Victor Omar Castellanos-Sanchez, Elvira Iglesias-Lopez, Sara PerpiƱaMartinez
Current Neuropharmacology 2020 July 28

BACKGROUND: Trigeminal neuralgia is a chronic disease characterized by intense facial pain caused by trigeminal nerve affectation. Usually affects adults from 50 years of age, being more frequent in women. Additionally, it presents serious psychological effects that often lead to depression, which is why it is considered highly disabling. The therapeutic approach is based on the modification of nerve activity through electrical, surgical or chemical stimulation in specific regions of the nervous system.

OBJECTIVE: To perform a meta-analysis of the scientific literature related to invasive and non-invasive electrical neuromodulation of trigeminal neuralgia, in order to assess their effects over pain and adverse effects.

METHOD: A literature search was conducted in 4 databases, followed by a manual search of articles on invasive or noninvasive electrical neuromodulation to control the pain of trigeminal neuralgia, including the last 15 years.

RESULTS: Regarding non-invasive methods, clinical trials did not present enough results in order to perform a meta analysis. Regarding invasive methods, clinical trials meta analysis showed no statistical differences between different treatment methods. In all cases, improvements in patients' pain were reported, although results about adverse effects were variable.

CONCLUSION: In the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia, the continuous radiofrequency provides better short and medium-term results, but pulsed radiofrequency shows less adverse effects after treatment, and has better results in the long-term.

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