Stereotactic Radiosurgery for Trigeminal Neuralgia in Patients With Multiple Sclerosis: A Multicenter Study

Neurosurgery 84:499505, 2019

Facial pain response (PR) to various surgical interventions in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS)-related trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is much less optimal. No large patient series regarding stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) has been published.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the clinical outcomes of MS-related TN treated with SRS.

METHODS: This is a retrospective cohort study. A total of 263 patients contributed by 9 member tertiary referral Gamma Knife centers (2 in Canada and 7 in USA) of the Interna- tional Gamma Knife Research Consortium (IGKRF) constituted this study.

RESULTS: The median latency period of PR after SRS was 1 mo. Reasonable pain control (Barrow Neurological Institute [BNI] Pain Scores I-IIIb) was achieved in 232 patients (88.2%). The median maintenance period from SRS was 14.1 months (range, 10 days to 10 years). The actuarial reasonable pain control maintenance rates at 1 yr, 2 yr, and 4 yr were 54%, 35%, and 24%, respectively. There was a correlation between the status of achieving BNI-I and the maintenance of facial pain recurrence-free rate. The median recurrence-free rate was 36 mo and 12.2 mo in patients achieving BNI-I and BNI > I, respectively (P = .046). Among 210 patients with known status of post-SRS complications, the new-onset of facial numbness (BNI-I or II) after SRS occurred in 21 patients (10%).

CONCLUSION: In this largest series SRS offers a reasonable benefit to risk profile for patients who have exhausted medical management. More favorable initial response to SRS may predict a long-lasting pain control.

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