Trigeminal neuralgia caused by a trigeminocerebellar artery

Case report

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  • 1 Departments of Neurosurgery and
  • | 2 Radiology, Mitsui Memorial Hospital, Tokyo, Japan
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This 31-year-old woman presented with typical right trigeminal neuralgia caused by a trigeminocerebellar artery, manifesting as pain uncontrollable with medical treatment. Preoperative neuroimaging studies demonstrated that the offending artery had almost encircled the right trigeminal nerve. This finding was confirmed intraoperatively, and decompression was completed. The neuralgia resolved after the surgery; the patient had slight transient hypesthesia, which fully resolved within the 1st month after surgery. The neuroimaging and intraoperative findings showed that the offending artery directly branched from the upper part of the basilar artery and, after encircling and supplying tiny branches to the nerve root, maintained its diameter and coursed toward the rostral direction of the cerebellum, which indicated that the artery supplied both the trigeminal nerve and the cerebellum. The offending artery was identified as the trigeminocerebellar artery. This case of trigeminal neuralgia caused by a trigeminocerebellar artery indicates that this variant is important for a better understanding of the vasculature of the trigeminal nerve root.

Abbreviations used in this paper:

AICA = anterior inferior cerebellar artery; BA = basilar artery; SCA = superior cerebellar artery.

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