Young‐onset trigeminal neuralgia: a clinical study and literature review

Acta Neurochirurgica (2021) 163:1617–1621

Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) primarily occurs in elderly adults and is thought to be induced by neurovascular compression. However, a few children and young adults may present with the clinical features of TN. In this study, we aim to retrospectively assess the data of young patients with TN from a single center.

Methods Of 783 consecutive patients with TN treated at our center between 2007 and 2017, 11 young patients under the age of 30 years with TN met the inclusion criteria and were enrolled. Their clinical records, surgical treatments, and long-term outcomes were obtained and analyzed.

Results All the 11 patients with TN underwent microvascular decompression (MVD). The average age at symptom onset was 24 years (range, 14–29 years), and the average age at the time of surgery was 28.9 years (range, 25–35 years). Further, 5 patients had left-sided symptoms, and 6 had right-sided symptoms. Surgery revealed only venous compression in 3 patients, only arterial compression in 5 patients, and both venous and arterial compression in 3 patients. The average duration of symptoms was 4.9 years, and the average follow-up duration was 7.4 years (range, 4.5–12.9 years). The long-term outcome was excellent in 9 patients and good in 2 patients, and there were no long-term complications.

Conclusions The symptoms and surgical findings presented in this cohort for young-onset TN are similar to those reported in elderly adults. MVD appears to be a safe and effective treatment for young patients with TN.