Current Issue - May-June 2015 - Vol 18 Issue 3


  1. 2015;18;E433-E435Management of Refractory Trigeminal Neuralgia Using Extended Duration Pulsed Radiofrequency Application
    Brief Commentary
    Deepak Thapa, DNB, PDCC, Vanita Ahuja, MD, Christopher Dass, MBBS, and Parul Verma, MBBS.

Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) produces incapacitating facial pain that reduces quality of life in patients. Thermal radiofrequency (RF) ablation of gasserian ganglion (GG) is associated with masseter weakness and unpleasant sensations along the distribution of the ablated nerve. Pulsed radiofrequency (PRF) of GG has minimal side effects but literature is inconclusive regarding its benefit in refractory TN. Increasing the duration of PRF application to 6 minutes in TN produced encouraging results. PRF application to the saphenous nerve for 8 minutes reported improved pain relief and patient satisfaction. We report successful management of two patients of classic TN, which were refractory to medical management and interventional nerve blocks. The lesion site were confirmed with motor and sensory stimulation through a 22 G, 10 cm RF needle with 5 mm active tip. Both the patients received four cycles of PRF at 42 °C with each cycle of 120 seconds (8 minutres). The visual analogue scale (VAS) in case 1 reduced from pre block score of 80 to score 10 postblock, while in case 2 the VAS reduced from pre-block score of 85 to score 15 postblock. During follow up both the patients are now pain free with minimal dose of carbamazepine at 12 and 6 months respectively. We used PRF for longer duration (8 minutes) in these patients, which resulted in improved VAS and WHOQOL-BREF score in these patients. PRF of mandibular division of GG for extended duration provided long-term effective pain relief and quality of life in patients of refractory classic TN.