Raymond F. Sekula Jr., Andrew M. Frederickson, Peter J. Jannetta, Sanjay Bhatia and Matthew R. Quigley
Stereotactic radiosurgical rhizolysis using Gamma Knife surgery (GKS) is an increasingly popular treatment for medically refractory trigeminal neuralgia. Because of the increasing use of GKS for trigeminal neuralgia, clinicians are faced with the problem of choosing a subsequent treatment plan if GKS fails. This study was conducted to identify whether microvascular decompression (MVD) is a safe and effective treatment for patients who experience trigeminal neuralgia symptoms after GKS.
From their records, the authors identified 29 consecutive patients who, over a 2-year period, underwent MVD following failed GKS. During MVD, data regarding thickened arachnoid, adhesions between vessels and the trigeminal nerve, and trigeminal nerve atrophy/discoloration were noted. Outcome and complication data were also recorded.
The MVD procedure was completed in 28 patients (97%). Trigeminal nerve atrophy was noted in 14 patients (48%). A thickened arachnoid was noted in 1 patient (3%). Adhesions between vessels and the trigeminal nerve were noted in 6 patients (21%) and prevented MVD in 1 patient. At last follow-up, 15 patients (54%) reported an excellent outcome after MVD, 1 (4%) reported a good outcome, 2 (7%) reported a fair outcome, and 10 patients (36%) reported a poor outcome. After MVD, new or worsened facial numbness occurred in 6 patients (21%). Additionally, 3 patients (11%) developed new or worsened troubling dysesthesias.
Thickened arachnoid, adhesions between vessels and the trigeminal nerve, and trigeminal nerve atrophy/discoloration due to GKS did not prevent completion of MVD. An MVD is an appropriate and safe “rescue” therapy following GKS, although the risks of numbness and troubling dysesthesias appear to be higher than with MVD alone.
Raymond F. Sekula Jr., Sanjay Bhatia, Andrew M. Frederickson, Peter J. Jannetta, Matthew R. Quigley, George A. Small and Ryan Breisinger
In this paper, the authors' goal was to determine the utility of monitoring the abnormal muscle response (AMR) or “lateral spread” during microvascular decompression surgery for hemifacial spasm.
The authors' experience with AMR as well as the data available in the English-language literature regarding resolution or persistence of AMR and the resolution or persistence of hemifacial spasm at follow-up was pooled and subjected to a meta-analysis.
The pooled OR revealed by the meta-analysis was 4.2 (95% CI 2.7–6.7). The chance of a cure if the AMR was abolished during surgery was 4.2 times greater than if the lateral spread persisted.
The AMR should be monitored routinely in the operating room, and surgical decision-making in the operating room should be augmented by the AMR.
Raymond F. Sekula Jr., Andrew M. Frederickson, Peter J. Jannetta, Sanjay Bhatia, Matthew R. Quigley and Khaled M. Abdel Aziz
The authors have the clinical impression that patients with isolated V2, or maxillary division, trigeminal neuralgia (TN) are most often women of a younger age with atypical pain features and a predominance of venous compression as the pathology. The aim of this study was to evaluate a specific subgroup of patients with V2 TN.
Among 120 patients who underwent microvascular decompression (MVD) for TN in 2007, data were available for 114; 6 patients were lost to follow-up. Patients were stratified according to typical (Burchiel Type 1), mixed (Burchiel Type 2a), or atypical (Burchiel Type 2b) TN. A pain-free status without medication was used to determine the efficacy of MVD. All patients were contacted in June 2008 and again in January 2009 at 12–24 months after surgery (median 18.4 months) and asked to rate their response to MVD as excellent (complete pain relief without medication), fair (complete pain relief with medication or some relief with or without medication), or poor (continued pain despite medication; that is, no change from their preoperative baseline pain status.
Of 114 patients, 14 (12%) had isolated V2 TN. Among these 14 were 2 typical (14%), 1 mixed (7%), and 11 atypical cases (79%) of TN. Among the remaining 100 cases were 37 typical (37%), 14 mixed (14%), and 49 atypical cases (49%) of TN. In the isolated V2 TN group, all patients were women as compared with 72% of women in the larger group of 100 patients (p = 0.05, chi-square test). The average age in the isolated V2 TN group was 51.2 years (median 48.1 years) versus 54.2 years (median 54.0 years) in the remainder of the group (p = NS, unpaired Student t-test). In the isolated V2 TN group, there was a predominance of atypical pain cases (79%) versus 49% in the remainder of the group, and this finding trended toward statistical significance (p = 0.07, chi-square test). Venous contact or compression (partly or wholly) was noted in 93% of the patients with isolated V2 versus 69% of the remainder of the group (p = 0.13, chi-square test). The likelihood of excellent outcomes in the patients with V2 TN (71%) was compared with that in typical pain cases (79%) among patients in the rest of the group (that is, the bestoutcome group), and no difference was found between the 2 groups (p = 0.8, chi-square test).
The authors confirmed that patients with isolated V2 TN were more likely to be female, tended toward an atypical pain classification with venous pathology at surgery, and fared just as well as those presenting with typical pain.
2010 AANS Annual Meeting Philadelphia, Pennsylvania May 1–5, 2010