Prognostic factors for long-term outcomes of microvascular decompression in the treatment of glossopharyngeal neuralgia: a retrospective analysis of 97 patients

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  • 1 Department of Neurosurgery, Peking University People’s Hospital, Beijing, China
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OBJECTIVE

The authors aimed to investigate predictors of postoperative outcomes of microvascular decompression (MVD) for the treatment of glossopharyngeal neuralgia (GPN).

METHODS

A cohort of 97 patients with medically refractory GPN who underwent MVD at the authors’ institution between January 2010 and July 2019 was retrospectively reviewed. Univariate and multivariate regression models were used to identify predictors of long-term outcome in patients after MVD.

RESULTS

Eighty-nine patients (91.8%) reported immediate and complete relief of pain after the procedure. Of the remaining 8 patients (8.2%), 6 achieved partial pain relief and pain gradually diminished within 2 weeks after surgery, and 2 did not experience postoperative pain relief. In univariate Cox regression analysis, venous compression of the glossopharyngeal nerve root entry zone (HR 3.591, 95% CI 1.660–7.767, p = 0.001) and lower degree of neurovascular conflict (HR 2.449, 95% CI 1.177–5.096, p = 0.017) were significantly associated with worse pain-free survival. In multivariate Cox regression analysis, venous compression (HR 8.192, 95% CI 2.960–22.669, p < 0.001) and lower degree of neurovascular conflict (HR 5.450, 95% CI 2.069–14.356, p = 0.001) remained independently associated with worse pain-free survival.

CONCLUSIONS

Venous compression of the glossopharyngeal nerve root entry zone and lower degree of neurovascular conflict were significantly correlated with shorter pain-free survival in patients who underwent MVD for GPN. Microvascular decompression is a safe, feasible, and durable approach with a low complication rate for the treatment of GPN.

ABBREVIATIONS

AICA = anterior inferior cerebellar artery; BNI = Barrow Neurological Institute; GKRS = Gamma Knife radiosurgery; GPN = glossopharyngeal neuralgia; MVD = microvascular decompression; NVC = neurovascular conflict; PICA = posterior inferior cerebellar artery; VA = vertebral artery.

Supplementary Materials

    • Supplementary Tables 1-3 (PDF 424 KB)

Schematics of transseptal interforniceal resection of a superiorly recessed colloid cyst. ©Mark Souweidane, published with permission. See the article by Tosi et al. (pp 813–819).

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