Percutaneous controlled radiofrequency rhizotomy in the management of patients with trigeminal neuralgia due to multiple sclerosis

Kanpolat Y., Berk C., Savas A., Bekar A.

ACTA NEUROCHIRURGICA, vol.142, no.6, pp.685-690, 2000 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 142 Issue: 6
  • Publication Date: 2000
  • Doi Number: 10.1007/s007010070113
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.685-690
  • Bursa Uludag University Affiliated: Yes


Between the years 1974 and 1999, 1,672 patients with medically intractable trigeminal neuralgia (TN) were treated by percutaneous controlled radiofrequency (RF) rhizotomy by the senior author and co-workers at the Department of Neurosurgery, Ankara University School of Medicine. Sixteen hundred cases (95.7%) were found to have idiopathic TN, while 72 cases (4.3%) were classified as symptomatic. In the latter group, TN was found to be caused by multiple sclerosis (MS) in 17 cases (23.6%), one of whom had bilateral TN. All patients having TN with MS (17 cases) underwent percutaneous controlled radiofrequency rhizotomy (25 procedures) as the procedure of choice. The MS patients were followed for an average of 60 months (range: 6-141 months). Complete pain relief was achieved with a single procedure in 12 of the 17 MS cases (70.6%). Early (less than 2 weeks) pain recurrence was seen in two patients (11.8%), while the overall recurrence rate was 29.4%. A second procedure was required to control TN in three cases (17.6%), a third in one (5.9%), and twice for each side for the case with bilateral TN (5.9%). Pain was completely relieved in 14 cases (82.4%) with single or multiple RF rhizotomies, In three cases (17.6%), partial pain control was achieved with RF rhizotomy, and the patients continued to receive adjunctive medical therapy. No complications were observed. All 17 patients (100%) were classified to have done well with RF rhizotomy.