Gamma Knife(®) radiosurgery for trigeminal neuralgia.


Department of Neurological Surgery, University of Virginia Health Sciences Center, Charlottesville, VA, USA.


Trigeminal neuralgia is characterized by a temporary paroxysmal lancinating facial pain in the trigeminal nerve distribution. The prevalence is four to five per 100,000. Local pressure on nerve fibers from vascular loops results in painful afferent discharge from an injured segment of the fifth cranial nerve. Microvascular decompression addresses the underlying pathophysiology of the disease, making this treatment the gold standard for medically refractory trigeminal neuralgia. In patients who cannot tolerate a surgical procedure, those in whom a vascular etiology cannot be identified, or those unwilling to undergo an open surgery, stereotactic radiosurgery is an appropriate alternative

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