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Surgical interventions for intractable migraine: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

BACKGROUND: Migraine affects approximately 14-15% of the global population, contributing to nearly 5% of the world's health burden. When drug treatments prove ineffective for intractable migraines, highly specific surgical interventions emerge as potential solutions. We aimed to analyze surgical approaches for these refractory or intractable migraines through a systematic review and meta-analysis.

METHODS: We conducted a literature search across databases such as PubMed, Scopus, Web of Science, and Embase, focusing on studies related to migraines and surgical outcomes. We considered clinical trials or observational studies that included any surgical intervention for refractory or intractable migraines, emphasizing key outcomes such as reductions in migraine intensity, Migraine Disability Assessment scores (MIDAS), and 50% Migraine Headache Index (MHI) reduction rates. Statistical analyses were performed using R version 4.3.

RESULTS: Eleven studies were included in the systematic review. A meta-analysis of four studies involving overall 95 patients showed a significant reduction in mean migraine intensity scores using ONS (-2.27, 95% CI: -3.92 to -0.63, P=0.021). Three studies with 85 patients showed an average MIDAS score reduction of -52.3, though this was not statistically significant (95% CI: -136.85 to 32.19, P=0.116). Two additional studies corroborated these reductions in MIDAS scores. Nerve decompression surgery showed a substantial decrease in the average migraine intensity (from 8.31 down to 4.06). Median MIDAS score dropped from 57 to 20. Two studies indicated a success rate of 40% and 82%, respectively, in achieving a 50% reduction in the Migraine MHI through nerve decompression. Findings from two studies suggest that septorhinoplasty and sinus surgery effectively decrease migraine intensity scores.

CONCLUSION: The existing evidence emphasizes the potential advantages of surgical interventions as a promising approach to managing intractable or refractory migraines. However, robust and comprehensive research is crucial to refine and solidify the efficacy of these surgical methods, aiming for widespread benefits for patients, considering cost-effectiveness factors.

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