Neurovascular decompression for trigeminal neuralgia in elderly patients.
The operative findings and outcomes of neurovascular decompression for trigeminal neuralgia were compared between patients aged 75 years and older (elderly group, 17 patients) and patients aged under 75 years (nonelderly group, 115 patients). There were no statistically significant differences in the operative findings or outcomes between the two groups, except in the percentage of patients who had been treated with carbamazepine. Neurovascular decompression for trigeminal neuralgia can be performed in elderly patients with the same operative results as in nonelderly patients. If other treatments (especially carbamazepine treatment) prove ineffective, neurovascular decompression should be considered in elderly patients before they become too old to undergo surgery. However, neurovascular decompression in elderly patients requires great care, as the venous system, including the superior petrosal vein, should be preserved and retraction of the cerebellum should be avoided whenever possible to maintain correct blood circulation in the cerebellum and brainstem. (+info)
Removal of petrous apex meningioma and microvascular decompression for trigeminal neuralgia through the anterior petrosal approach. Case report.
A 64-year-old female presented with right trigeminal neuralgia. Computed tomography and magnetic resonance (MR) imaging demonstrated a tumor attached to the right petrous apex. MR imaging also revealed that the trigeminal nerve was compressed and distorted by the tumor. Tumor removal and microvascular decompression (MVD) were performed via the anterior petrosal approach. The trigeminal nerve was distorted by the tumor and the superior cerebellar artery compressed the medial part of the root entry zone of the trigeminal nerve. The surgery resulted in complete relief of the trigeminal neuralgia. Posterior fossa tumors causing ipsilateral trigeminal neuralgia are not rare, and are often removed via the suboccipital retromastoid approach, as MVD for trigeminal neuralgia is usually performed through the retromastoid approach. The advantages of the anterior petrosal approach are shorter access to the lesion and direct exposure without interference from the cranial nerves, and that bleeding from the tumors is easily controlled as the feeding arteries can be managed in the early stage of the surgery. We conclude that the anterior petrosal approach is safe and advantageous for the removal of petrous apex tumor associated with trigeminal neuralgia. (+info)
Trigeminal evoked potentials in patients with symptomatic trigeminal neuralgia due to intracranial mass lesions.
Trigeminal evoked potentials (TEP) were recorded by electrical stimulation of the lips in 7 patients with symptomatic trigeminal neuralgia due to CT proved mass lesions involving the trigeminal nerve. All the patients showed TEP abnormalities on the affected side. Chronic compression and irritation of the trigeminal nerve may be responsible for these changes. The results obtained were compared with other similar studies and TEP abnormalities observed in idiopathic trigeminal neuralgia. As all the patients had unequivocal compression of the trigeminal nerve and all of them had TEP changes, it can be concluded that TEP abnormality is an accurate predictor of trigeminal nerve compression. TEPs may be a valuable aid in demonstrating a compressive element in patients with trigeminal neuralgia. (+info)
Measurement of changes in opioid receptor binding in vivo during trigeminal neuralgic pain using [11C] diprenorphine and positron emission tomography.
The binding of [11C]diprenorphine to mu, kappa, and delta subsites in cortical and subcortical structures was measured by positron emission tomography in vivo in six patients before and after surgical relief of trigeminal neuralgia pain. The volume of distribution of [11C]diprenorphine binding was significantly increased after thermocoagulation of the relevant trigeminal division in the following areas: prefrontal, insular, perigenual, mid-cingulate and inferior parietal cortices, basal ganglia, and thalamus bilaterally. In addition to the pain relief associated with the surgical procedure, there also was an improvement in anxiety and depression scores. In the context of other studies, these changes in binding most likely resulted from the change in the pain state. The results suggest an increased occupancy by endogenous opioid peptides during trigeminal pain but cannot exclude coexistent down-regulation of binding sites. (+info)
Microvascular decompression for trigeminal neuralgia: comments on a series of 250 cases, including 10 patients with multiple sclerosis.
OBJECTIVE: To examine surgical findings and results of microvascular decompression (MVD) for trigeminal neuralgia (TN), including patients with multiple sclerosis, to bring new insight about the role of microvascular compression in the pathogenesis of the disorder and the role of MVD in its treatment. METHODS: Between 1990 and 1998, 250 patients affected by trigeminal neuralgia underwent MVD in the Department of Neurosurgery of the "Istituto Nazionale Neurologico C Besta" in Milan. Limiting the review to the period 1991-6, to exclude the "learning period" (the first 50 cases) and patients with less than 1 year follow up, surgical findings and results were critically analysed in 148 consecutive cases, including 10 patients with multiple sclerosis. RESULTS: Vascular compression of the trigeminal nerve was found in all cases. The recurrence rate was 15.3% (follow up 1-7 years, mean 38 months). In five of 10 patients with multiple sclerosis an excellent result was achieved (follow up 12-39 months, mean 24 months). Patients with TN for more than 84 months did significantly worse than those with a shorter history (p<0.05). There was no mortality and most complications occurred in the learning period. Surgical complications were not related to age of the patients. CONCLUSIONS: Aetiopathogenesis of trigeminal neuralgia remains a mystery. These findings suggest a common neuromodulatory role of microvascular compression in both patients with or without multiple sclerosis rather than a direct causal role. MVD was found to be a safe and effective procedure to relieve typical TN in patients of all ages. It should be proposed as first choice surgery to all patients affected by TN, even in selected cases with multiple sclerosis, to give them the opportunity of pain relief without sensory deficits. (+info)
Acute and chronic craniofacial pain: brainstem mechanisms of nociceptive transmission and neuroplasticity, and their clinical correlates.
This paper reviews the recent advances in knowledge of brainstem mechanisms related to craniofacial pain. It also draws attention to their clinical implications, and concludes with a brief overview and suggestions for future research directions. It first describes the general organizational features of the trigeminal brainstem sensory nuclear complex (VBSNC), including its input and output properties and intrinsic characteristics that are commensurate with its strategic role as the major brainstem relay of many types of somatosensory information derived from the face and mouth. The VBSNC plays a crucial role in craniofacial nociceptive transmission, as evidenced by clinical, behavioral, morphological, and electrophysiological data that have been especially derived from studies of the relay of cutaneous nociceptive afferent inputs through the subnucleus caudalis of the VBSNC. The recent literature, however, indicates that some fundamental differences exist in the processing of cutaneous vs. other craniofacial nociceptive inputs to the VBSNC, and that rostral components of the VBSNC may also play important roles in some of these processes. Modulatory mechanisms are also highlighted, including the neurochemical substrate by which nociceptive transmission in the VBSNC can be modulated. In addition, the long-term consequences of peripheral injury and inflammation and, in particular, the neuroplastic changes that can be induced in the VBSNC are emphasized in view of the likely role that central sensitization, as well as peripheral sensitization, can play in acute and chronic pain. The recent findings also provide new insights into craniofacial pain behavior and are particularly relevant to many approaches currently in use for the management of pain and to the development of new diagnostic and therapeutic procedures aimed at manipulating peripheral inputs and central processes underlying nociceptive transmission and its control within the VBSNC. (+info)
Neurovascular compression of the trigeminal and glossopharyngeal nerve: three case reports.
Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is a frequent cause of paroxysmal facial pain and headache in adults. Glossopharyngeal neuralgia (GPN) is less common, but can cause severe episodic pain in the ear and throat. Neurovascular compression of the appropriate cranial nerve as it leaves the brain stem is responsible for the symptoms in many patients, and neurosurgical decompression of the nerve is now a well accepted treatment in adults with both TN and GPN who fail to respond to drug therapy. Neither TN nor GPN are routinely considered in the differential diagnosis when assessing children with paroxysmal facial or head pain, as they are not reported to occur in childhood. Case reports of three children with documented neurovascular compression causing severe neuralgic pain and disability are presented. The fact that these conditions do occur in the paediatric population, albeit rarely, is highlighted, and appropriate investigation and management are discussed. (+info)
The use of craniotomy to approach supratentorial lesions is quite well established in the literature. The use of craniotomy for posterior fossa approaches, however, is not well described. The aim of this article is to describe the technical aspects of this approach and to delineate the important landmarks. In our cases, posterior fossa craniotomies have been utilized for treat different pathologies. Additionally, the technique has not added any additional risk, and the cosmetic results have been excellent. (+info)