Current Issue - March/April 2024 - Vol 27 Issue 3


  1. 2024;27;E345-E353Balloon Pressure and Clinical Effectiveness of Percutaneous Microballoon Compression in the Treatment of Primary Trigeminal Neuralgia
    Observational Study
    Yingqian Peng, MD, Cong Zou, MD, Yonglin Li, MD, Qing Li, MD, Hui Long, MD, Wuzhou Yang, MD, Zhenping Xiao, MD, Liping Jiang, MD, Wei Gao, MD, and Yunwu He, MD.

BACKGROUND: Primary trigeminal neuralgia (PTN) is a type of chronic neuropathic pain disorder caused by neurovascular compression. Percutaneous balloon compression (PBC) is a widely used method for the treatment of PTN.

OBJECTIVES: To examine the correlation of balloon pressure (BP) during percutaneous microballoon compression (PBC) with postoperative pain relief and complications in the treatment of primary trigeminal neuralgia (PTN).

STUDY DESIGN: Forty-five patients diagnosed with PTN and treated with PBC were recruited. The BP was recorded at 2 time points: when the balloon achieved the ideal pear shape (initial BP [IBP]) and when the pressure was maintained for 2 min (final BP [FBP]).

SETTING: This study was conducted at the Department of Pain and Rehabilitation of the Second Affiliated Hospital at the University of South China in Hunan, China.

METHODS: The patients’ Barrow Neurological Institute (BNI) pain intensity score, BNI facial numbness score, masticatory muscle weakness score, and recurrence were recorded before and after surgery. The receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves were generated for the IBP to predict treatment effectiveness, severe facial numbness, and severe masticatory muscle weakness.

RESULTS: The BNI pain intensity score, BNI facial numbness score, and masticatory muscle weakness score were significantly decreased after surgery (all P < 0.001). IBP was positively correlated with the difference between IBP and FBP (P < 0.01). Both IBP and the difference between IBP and FBP were negatively correlated with the BNI pain intensity score and positively correlated with the BNI facial numbness score and masticatory muscle weakness score (P < 0.01). The IBP and the difference between the IBP and FBP were significantly lower in patients experiencing recurrence than in the nonrecurrent group (P < 0.05). The areas under the ROC curves of the IBP for predicting effective pain relief, severe facial numbness, and severe masticatory muscle weakness were 0.875, 0.980, and 0.988, respectively.

LIMITATIONS: The sample size was relatively small, and the follow-up time was short. The correlations between the BP and other factors, such as filling amount, Meckel’s cavity, and the size of the foramen ovale, were not investigated. The impact of the BP on long-term postoperative outcomes was not explored.

CONCLUSIONS: An intraoperative BP of 138.65–153.90 KPa can be maintained for effective PBC treatment without causing serious complications.

KEY WORDS: Balloon pressure, clinical effectiveness, complications, facial numbness, microballoon compression, muscle weakness, receiver operating characteristic curves, trigeminal neuralgia