Risk of Bone Wax Migration During Retrosigmoid Craniotomy for Microvascular Decompression

Operative Neurosurgery 26:406–412, 2024

Bone wax is a flexible hemostatic agent commonly used for surgery in the posterior cranial fossa to control bleeding from the mastoid emissary vein. A large amount of bone wax can migrate into the sigmoid sinus through the mastoid emissary canal (MEC). We aimed to identify clinical factors related to intraoperative bone wax migration through the MEC during microvascular decompression (MVD) surgery, which may result in sigmoid sinus thrombosis.

METHODS: We retrospectively collected the clinical data of patients with trigeminal neuralgia, hemifacial spasm, or trigeminal neuralgia accompanied by painful tic convulsif who underwent MVD. Basic information and the residual width and length (from the bone surface to the sigmoid sinus) of the MEC on computed tomography images were collected. We compared the collected clinical data between 2 groups of cases with and without intraoperative bone wax migration in the sigmoid sinus.

RESULTS: Fifty-four cases with intraoperative bone wax migration and 187 patients without migration were enrolled. The t-test revealed significant differences in the width and length of the MEC (P = .013 and P = .003, respectively). These variables were identified as significant factors in predicting intraoperative bone wax migration using multivariate logistic regression analysis.

CONCLUSION: The large size of the MEC may be related to intraoperative bone wax migration into the sigmoid sinus in MVD. Neurosurgeons should be aware of these risks. Bone wax should be applied appropriately and hemostasis should be considered to control bleeding from the mastoid emissary vein in patients with a large MEC.

The Sagittal Angle of the Trigeminal Nerve at the Porus Trigeminus is a Radiologic Predictor of Surgical Outcome in Microvascular Decompression for Classical Trigeminal Neuralgia

Neurosurgery 94:524–528, 2024

Classical trigeminal neuralgia (cTN) is a painful disease. Microvascular decompression (MVD) provides immediate and durable relief in many patients. A variety of positive and negative prognostic biomarkers for MVD have been identified. The sagittal angle of the trigeminal nerve at the porus trigeminus (SATNaPT) is an MRI biomarker that can identify a subset of patients with cTN whose trigeminal nerve anatomy is different from normal controls. The purpose of this case-control study was to determine whether an abnormally hyperacute SATNaPT is a negative prognostic biomarker in patients with cTN undergoing MVD.

METHODS: Preoperative MRIs from 300 patients with cTN who underwent MVD were analyzed to identify patients with a hyperacute SATNaPT (defined as less than 3 SDs below the mean). The rate of surgical success (pain-free after at least 12 months) was compared between patients with a hyperacute SATNaPT and all other patients.

RESULTS: Patients without a hyperacute SATNaPT had an 82% likelihood of surgical success, whereas patients with a hyperacute SATNaPT had a 58% likelihood of surgical success (P < .05). Patients with a hyperacute SATNaPT who also had no evidence of vascular compression on preoperative MRI had an even lower likelihood of success (29%, P < .05).

CONCLUSION: In patients with cTN being considered for MVD, a hyperacute SATNaPT is a negative prognostic biomarker that predicts a higher likelihood of surgical failure. Patients with a hyperacute SATNaPT, particularly those without MRI evidence of vascular compression, may benefit from other surgical treatments or a modification of MVD to adequately address the underlying cause of cTN.

Preemptive strategies and lessons learned from complications encountered with microvascular decompression for hemifacial spasm

J Neurosurg 140:248–259, 2024

OBJECTIVE Microvascular decompression (MVD) is the only curative treatment modality for hemifacial spasm (HFS). Although generally considered to be safe, this surgical procedure is surrounded by many risks and possible complications. The authors present the spectrum of complications that they met in their case series, the possible causes, and the strategies recommended to minimize them.

METHODS The authors reviewed a prospectively maintained database for MVDs performed from 2005 until 2021 and extracted relevant data including patient demographics, offending vessel(s), operative technique, outcome, and different complications. Descriptive statistics with uni- and multivariable analyses for the factors that may influence the seventh, eighth, and lower cranial nerves were performed.

RESULTS Data from 420 patients were obtained. Three hundred seventeen of 344 patients (92.2%) with a minimum follow-up of 12 months had a favorable outcome. The mean follow-up (standard deviation) was 51.3 ± 38.7 months. Immediate complications reached 18.8% (79/420). Complications persisted in only 7.14% of patients (30/420) including persistent hearing deficits (5.95%) and residual facial palsy (0.95%). Temporary complications included CSF leakage (3.10%), lower cranial nerve deficits (3.57%), meningitis (0.71%), and brainstem ischemia (0.24%). One patient died because of herpes encephalitis. Statistical analyses showed that the immediate postoperative disappearance of spasms and male gender are correlated with postoperative facial palsy, whereas combined vessel compressions involving the vertebral artery (VA) and anterior inferior cerebellar artery can predict postoperative hearing deterioration. VA compressions could predict postoperative lower cranial nerve deficits.

CONCLUSIONS MVD is safe and effective for treating HFS with a low rate of permanent morbidity. Proper patient positioning, sharp arachnoid dissection, and endoscopic visualization under facial and auditory neurophysiological monitoring are the key points to minimize the rate of complications in MVD for HFS.

 

Validation of Efficacy and Safety of TachoSil ® Tissue Sealant for Vessel Transposition in Microvascular Decompression

Operative Neurosurgery 25:417–425, 2023

Use of TachoSil ® as the transposition material of microvascular decompression (MVD) for hemifacial spasm (HFS) and trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is easy and safe to perform, but the efficacy and safety of this technique are unknown. This study attempted to validate the efficacy and safety of TachoSil ® as a transposition material of MVD.

METHODS: A retrospective study of the surgical results and complications of 63 patients (35 HFS and 28 TN) treated by the TachoSil ® technique between January 2011 and December 2021 was conducted. The efficacy of the treatment was evaluated by Kaplan–Meier survival analysis. Magnetic resonance imaging follow-up study was performed to detect any adverse events including a mass formation.

RESULTS: The rate of complete disappearance of HFS was 91.4% at 1 year and estimated to be 85.7% after a 10-year followup. The rate of no pain without medication for TN was 85.4% at 1 year and estimated to be 69.0% after a 9-year follow-up. These surgical results are comparable with those previously reported. Flaking of TachoSil ® releasing the offending artery was only recognized in one case (1.6%). Therefore, TachoSil ® can be considered as an effective transposition material for MVD. TachoSil ® did not increase the rate of acute and subacute adverse events such as inflammation and delayed facial palsy. Magnetic resonance imaging follow-up identified no abnormalities including mass that suggested granuloma formation.

CONCLUSION: The efficacy of the TachoSil ® technique for HFS and TN and the reliability of TachoSil ® as an adhesive material in MVD were verified. No adverse events associated with TachoSil ® use in MVD were found. We conclude that the TachoSil ® technique has relatively long efficacy and safety for MVD.

Multiple Vessel Compression of the Trigeminal Nerve Is Associated With Worse Outcomes in Trigeminal Neuralgia After Microvascular Decompression

Neurosurgery 92:1029–1034, 2023

Whether the total number of compressive vessels in trigeminal neuralgia (TN) affects outcomes after microvascular decompression (MVD) is unknown.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate whether the number of compressive vessels is associated with outcomes after MVD.

METHODS: We retrospectively reviewed all patients with TN who underwent MVDs at our institution from 2007 to 2020. The number and identity of compressive vessels on the trigeminal nerve were recorded. Preoperative and postoperative pain and numbness Barrow Neurological Institute scores were compared. Factors associated with pain recurrence were assessed using survival analyses and multivariate regressions.

RESULTS: We identified 496 patients with a single vessel and 381 patients with multiple vessels compressing the trigeminal nerve. Compared with patients with a single compressive vessel, patients with multiple sources of compression exhibited increased Barrow Neurological Institute pain scores preoperatively (P = .01). In addition, pain recurrence was more frequent (P < .001) and occurred after a significantly shorter pain-free duration (P < .001) for the multiple compression group. Using multivariate ordinal regression, a greater number of arteries (P = .03) and veins (P = .03) were both significantly associated with higher pain scores at final follow-up. Furthermore, the number of arteries (P = .01) and of veins (P = .01) was significantly associated with a higher risk for pain recurrence.

CONCLUSION: TN patients with a single compressive vessel exhibited better pain outcomes after an MVD. Patients with multiple compressive vessels exhibited higher pain scores preoperatively and incurred a higher risk for pain recurrence, which occurred after a shorter pain-free interval compared with the single compression cohort.

The value of intraoperative indocyanine green angiography in microvascular decompression for hemifacial spasm to avoid brainstem ischemia

Acta Neurochirurgica (2023) 165:747–755

Despite being rarely reported, ischemic insults resulting from compromising small brainstem perforators following microvascular decompression (MVD) remain a potential devastating complication. To avoid this complication, we have been using indocyanine green (ICG) angiography intraoperatively to check the flow within the small brainstem perforators. We aim to evaluate the safety and usefulness of ICG videoangiography in MVD.

Methods We extracted retrospective data of patients who received ICG videoangiography from our prospectively maintained database for microvascular decompression. We noted relevant data including demographics, offending vessels, operative technique, outcome, and complications.

Results Out of the 438 patients, 15 patients with a mean age (SD) of 53 ± 10.5 years underwent intraoperative ICG angiography. Male:female was 1:1.14. The mean disease duration prior to surgery was 7.7 ± 5.3 years. The mean follow-up (SD) was 50.7 ± 42.0 months. In 14 patients, the offending vessel was an artery, and in one patient, a vein. Intraoperative readjustment of the Teflon pledget or sling was required in 20% (3/15) of the cases. No patient had any sort of brainstem ischemia. Eighty percent of the patients (12/15) experienced complete resolution of the spasms. 86.7% (13/15) of the patients reported a satisfactory outcome with marked improvement of the spasms. Three patients experienced slight hearing affection after surgery, which improved in two patients later. There was no facial or lower cranial nerve affection.

Conclusion Intraoperative ICG is a safe tool for evaluating the flow within the brain stem perforators and avoiding brainstem ischemia in MVD for hemifacial spasm.

Sacrifice or preserve the superior petrosal vein in microvascular decompression surgery

J Neurosurg 138:390–398, 2023

In microvascular decompression (MVD) surgery through the retrosigmoid approach, the surgeon may have to sacrifice the superior petrosal vein (SPV). However, this is a controversial maneuver. To date, high-level evidence comparing the operative outcomes of patients who underwent MVD with and without SPV sacrifice is lacking. Therefore, this study sought to bridge this gap.

METHODS The authors searched the Medline and PubMed databases with appropriate Medical Subject Heading (MeSH) terms and keywords. The primary outcome was vascular-related complications; secondary outcomes were new neurological deficit, cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak, and neuralgia relief. The pooled proportions of outcomes and OR (95% CI) for categorical data were calculated by using the logit transformation and Mantel-Haenszel methods, respectively.

RESULTS Six studies yielding 1143 patients were included, of which 618 patients had their SPV sacrificed. The pooled proportion (95% CI) values were 3.82 (0.87–15.17) for vascular-related complications, 3.64 (1.0–12.42) for new neurological deficits, 2.85 (1.21–6.58) for CSF leaks, and 88.90 (84.90–91.94) for neuralgia relief. The meta-analysis concluded that, whether the surgeon sacrificed or preserved the SPV, the odds were similar for vascular-related complications (2.5% vs 1.5%, OR [95% CI] 1.01 [0.33–3.09], p = 0.99), new neurological deficits (1.2% vs 2.8%, OR [95% CI] 0.55 [0.18–1.66], p = 0.29), CSF leak (3.1% vs 2.1%, OR [95% CI] 1.16 [0.46–2.94], p = 0.75), and neuralgia relief (86.6% vs 87%, OR [95% CI] 0.96 [0.62–1.49], p = 0.84).

CONCLUSIONS SPV sacrifice is as safe as SPV preservation. The authors recommend intentional SPV sacrifice when gentle retraction fails to enhance surgical field visualization and if the surgeon encounters SPV-related neurovascular conflict and/or anticipates impeding SPV-related bleeding.

 

Increase in Trigeminal Nerve Cross-Sectional Area on Immediate Postoperative MRI Predicts Favorable Outcome After Microvascular Decompression for Classical Trigeminal Neuralgia

Neurosurgery 92:283–292, 2023

Although distortion or indentation of a trigeminal nerve due to neurovascular compression (NVC) is associated with classical trigeminal neuralgia, whether morphological change in the trigeminal nerve is relieved by eliminating NVC has not been studied.

OBJECTIVE: To estimate morphological change in the trigeminal nerve after microvascular decompression (MVD).

METHODS: Fifty patients with classical trigeminal neuralgia who underwent MVD were included. Using coronal images in both preoperative and postoperative MRI, the trigeminal nerve cross-sectional area (CSA) was measured at 4 mm anterior to the nerve entry into the pons. Clinical outcomes were assessed using the Barrow Neurological Institute Pain Intensity Scale (BNI-PS) at the patient’s latest follow-up.

RESULTS: Forty-one patients achieved favorable outcomes without medication (BNI-PS I or II), and 9 patients had residual pain (BNI-PS ≥ 3A). The mean symptomatic trigeminal nerve CSA was increased by 51.47% after MVD in the favorable outcome group (pre-operative: 4.37 ± 1.64 mm 2 vs postoperative: 6.26 ± 1.76 mm2 , P < .01), whereas it was not significantly changed in the unfavorable outcome group (preoperative: 4.20 ± 1.19 mm2 vs postoperative: 4.43 ± 1.24 mm2 , P = .69). Kaplan–Meier survival analysis showed that the 3-year probability of maintaining a favorable outcome was 92.3 ± 7.4% and 56.1 ± 11.9%, for those whose symptomatic trigeminal nerve CSA was increased by over 20% and less than 20%, respectively (P < .01).

CONCLUSION: Morphological changes in the trigeminal nerve due to NVC could be recovered by MVD, and increases in the trigeminal nerve CSA predicted favorable outcomes.

Indication for a skull base approach in microvascular decompression for hemifacial spasm

Acta Neurochirurgica (2022) 164:3235–3246

A thorough observation of the root exit zone (REZ) and secure transposition of the offending arteries is crucial for a successful microvascular decompression (MVD) for hemifacial spasm (HFS). Decompression procedures are not always feasible in a narrow operative field through a retrosigmoid approach. In such instances, extending the craniectomy laterally is useful in accomplishing the procedure safely. This study aims to introduce the benefits of a skull base approach in MVD for HFS.

Methods The skull base approach was performed in twenty-eight patients among 335 consecutive MVDs for HFS. The site of the neurovascular compression (NVC), the size of the flocculus, and the location of the sigmoid sinus are measured factors in the imaging studies. The indication for a skull base approach is evaluated and verified retrospectively in comparison with the conventional retrosigmoid approach. Operative outcomes and long-term results were analyzed retrospectively.

Results The extended retrosigmoid approach was used for 27 patients and the retrolabyrinthine presigmoid approach was used in one patient. The measurement value including the site of NVC, the size of the flocculus, and the location of the sigmoid sinus represents well the indication of the skull base approach, which is significantly different from the conventional retrosigmoid approach. The skull base approach is useful for patients with medially located NVC, a large flocculus, or repeat MVD cases. The long-term result demonstrated favorable outcomes in patients with the skull base approach applied. Conclusions Preoperative evaluation for lateral expansion of the craniectomy contributes to a safe and secure MVD.

Geniculate Neuralgia: A Case Report and Systematic Review

Neurosurgery Open 2022;3(4):e00022.

Geniculate neuralgia (GN) is a rare disorder characterized by brief paroxysms of pain felt deeply in the auditory canal, like shock. The diagnosis of GN is essentially clinical and requiring the exclusion of other causes. The aim of this study was to report a case of surgical treatment of the disease and perform a systematic review of surgical treatment options.

CLINICAL PRESENTATION: A 62-year-old female patient has had severe, sharp pain in her left ear—like an ice pick—for the past 8 months, without any history of trauma or infection. She had triggers for pain, such as talking or swallowing. Imaging investigation showed a vessel touching VIIth and VIIIth nerves, possibly the anterior inferior cerebellar artery. After finding a clinical presentation compatible with GN, treatment with anticonvulsants, gabapentinoids, and opioids was attempted, but without success with such conservative treatments. Therefore, we opted for microvascular decompression and section of the nervus intermedius, which were performed without complications. Neurophysiological assessment was essential to monitor the long tracts and stimulate VIIth and VIIIth nerves to help identify the intermediate nerve. After the procedure, the patient was without pain, and after 12 months of follow-up, she remains without any pain.

CONCLUSION: Surgical treatment of GN might be beneficial when medical treatment has not worked. Cranial nerves neurophysiological monitoring is not routinely performed, and the identification is based on anatomy. A more comprehensive knowledge of this condition will help in the surgical treatment choice and in achieving better results.

Technical Assessment of Microvascular Decompression for Trigeminal Neuralgia Using a 3-Dimensional Exoscope

Operative Neurosurgery 23:374–381, 2022

Detailed anatomic visualization of the root entry zone of the trigeminal nerve is crucial to successfully perform microvascular decompression surgery (MVD) in patients with trigeminal neuralgia.

OBJECTIVE: To determine advantages and disadvantages using a 3-dimensional (3D) exoscope for MVD surgery.

METHODS: A 4K 3D exoscope (ORBEYE) was used by a single surgical team for MVD in a retrospective case series of 8 patients with trigeminal neuralgia in a tertiary center. Clinical and surgical data were collected, and advantages/disadvantages of using the exoscope for MVD were recorded after each surgery. Descriptive statistics were used to summarize the data.

RESULTS: Adequate MVD of the trigeminal nerve root was possible in all patients by exclusively using the exoscope. It offered bright visualization of the cerebellopontine angle and the root entry zone of the trigeminal nerve that was comparable with a binocular operating microscope. The greatest advantages of the exoscope included good optical quality, the pronounced depth of field of the image for all observers, and its superior surgeon ergonomics. Disadvantages were revealed with overexposure at deep surgical sites and the lack of endoscope integration. In 6 patients, facial pain improved significantly after surgery (Barrow Neurological Institute pain intensity score I in 5 and III in 1 patient), whereas it did not in 2 patients (Barrow Neurological Institute score IV and V). No complications occurred.

CONCLUSION: Utilization of a 3D exoscope for MVD is a safe and feasible procedure. Surgeons benefit from better ergonomics, excellent image quality, and an improved experience for observers.

Prognostic factors for long-term outcomes of microvascular decompression in the treatment of glossopharyngeal neuralgia: a retrospective analysis of 97 patients

J Neurosurg 137:820–827, 2022

The authors aimed to investigate predictors of postoperative outcomes of microvascular decompression (MVD) for the treatment of glossopharyngeal neuralgia (GPN).

METHODS A cohort of 97 patients with medically refractory GPN who underwent MVD at the authors’ institution between January 2010 and July 2019 was retrospectively reviewed. Univariate and multivariate regression models were used to identify predictors of long-term outcome in patients after MVD.

RESULTS Eighty-nine patients (91.8%) reported immediate and complete relief of pain after the procedure. Of the remaining 8 patients (8.2%), 6 achieved partial pain relief and pain gradually diminished within 2 weeks after surgery, and 2 did not experience postoperative pain relief. In univariate Cox regression analysis, venous compression of the glossopharyngeal nerve root entry zone (HR 3.591, 95% CI 1.660–7.767, p = 0.001) and lower degree of neurovascular conflict (HR 2.449, 95% CI 1.177–5.096, p = 0.017) were significantly associated with worse pain-free survival. In multivariate Cox regression analysis, venous compression (HR 8.192, 95% CI 2.960–22.669, p < 0.001) and lower degree of neurovascular conflict (HR 5.450, 95% CI 2.069–14.356, p = 0.001) remained independently associated with worse pain-free survival.

CONCLUSIONS Venous compression of the glossopharyngeal nerve root entry zone and lower degree of neurovascular conflict were significantly correlated with shorter pain-free survival in patients who underwent MVD for GPN. Microvascular decompression is a safe, feasible, and durable approach with a low complication rate for the treatment of GPN.

Purely venous compression in trigeminal neuralgia—can we predict the outcome of surgery

Acta Neurochirurgica (2022) 164:1567–1573

Controversies regarding venous compression and trigeminal neuralgia (TN) still exist. The study demonstrates our experience for microvascular decompression (MVD) in TN caused by purely venous compression. The goal was to identify prognostic anatomical or surgical factors that may influence the outcome.

Methods Between 2004 and 2020, 49 patients were operated with purely venous compression. Average age was 58.4 years. Mean history of TN was 7.8 years. Microsurgical procedures included transposition or separation of the vein, coagulation, and division. Several features have been analyzed with respect to BNI scores.

Results Evaluation on discharge revealed a complete pain relief in 39 (80%), partial improvement in 7 (14%), and no benefit in 3 (6%) patients. Facial hypesthesia was reported by 14 (28.6%) patients. Mean follow-up (FU) was 42.1 months. BNI pain intensity score on FU revealed 71.4% excellent to very good scores (score 1: 32 (65.3%); 2: 3 (6.1%)). BNI facial numb- ness score 2 could be detected in 13 patients (26.5%) during FU. There was no statistical relationship between immediate pain improvement or BNI pain intensity score on FU with respect to surgical procedure, size of trigeminal cistern, type of venous compression, venous caliber, trigeminal nerve indentation, or neurovascular adherence. BNI facial numbness score was dependent on type of venous compression (p < 0.05).

Conclusion We did not find typical anatomical features that could either predict or influence the outcome regarding pain improvement or resolution in any form. Neither classic microvascular decompression (interposition/transposition) nor sacrificing the offending vein made any difference in outcome.

Treatment Strategies for Different Types of Intraneural Offending Vessels in Microvascular Decompression Surgery for Trigeminal Neuralgia

Neurosurgery 90:562–568, 2022

Microvascular decompression (MVD) surgery is the treatment of choice for trigeminal neuralgia (TGN). However, decompression becomes difficult when the offending vessel penetrates the trigeminal nerve root.

OBJECTIVE: To estimate the rates and patterns of different types of intraneural offending vessels in patients with TGN for MVD and to discuss respective management strategies. METHODS: All patients with TGN undergoing MVD in our center from January 1, 2015, to December 31, 2019, were analyzed retrospectively. The intraneural offending vessels included veins and arteries. The postoperative pain relief rate, complications, and recurrences were evaluated.

RESULTS: Of the 302 TGN cases, the intraneural offending vessels were identified in 58 of the cases (19.2%). The 9 cases (15.5%) of intraneural offending arteries were decompressed using shredded Teflon wrapping interposition. Of the 49 cases (84.5%) of intraneural offending veins (INOVs), 29 were not considered true offending vessels, and the treatment only addressed the offending artery in these patients. Of the remaining 20 INOVs, 15 were electrocoagulated and divided, and 5 were decompressed with shredded Teflon. Complete pain relief was achieved in all 58 patients. However, the pain recurred in 5 patients (8.6%), and transient hemifacial numbness occurred in 4 patients (6.9%).

CONCLUSION: Intraneural offending vessels requiring treatment are uncommon and are seen in less than 1 in 10 patients undergoing MVD for TGN. For intraneural offending artery, decompression by shredded Teflon wrapping interposition is recommended. Management of the INOV depends on the individual situations, and the management includes sacrifice, wrapping decompression, or leaving them untreated.

 

A Systematic Review of Repeat Microvascular Decompression for Recurrent or Persistent Trigeminal Neuralgia

World Neurosurg. (2022) 158:226-233

When conservative therapy fails, microvascular decompression (MVD) has been the preferred treatment of primary trigeminal neuralgia (TN). However, the management of recurrent or persistent TN after MVD can often be difficult. The purpose of the present systematic review was to objectively analyze and summarize the reported literature regarding the feasibility of repeat MVD.

METHODS: We conducted a database search using the MEDLINE and PubMed databases until July 2020. The search terms used for title and abstract screening were as follows: “recurrent trigeminal neuralgia,” “persistent trigeminal neuralgia,” “repeat microvascular decompression,” and “reexploration.” The inclusion criteria for the systematic review were as follows: clinical studies (excluding case studies), repeat MVD treatment of TN, and studies that had recorded the pain relief outcomes, operative findings, and complications (if any).

RESULTS: Of the 1771 initial results obtained, we performed a full text screening of 43 studies, and, ultimately, 19 were deemed eligible. A total of 2247 patients had undergone MVD for TN, of whom, 311 had experienced recurrence (13.84%). Of the 311 patients, 178 had undergone repeat MVD. The average painfree interval was 27.75 months after the first MVD. The effective rate of repeat MVD was 91.66%, and 71.48% of the patients had had obvious compression found at repeat MVD. The postoperative complication rate after repeat MVD was 37.31% and was due to postoperative adhesions around the nerve and nerve injury caused by partial sensory rhizotomy. The most common complication after repeat MVD was facial numbness (21.89%), although the incidence of other complications was <5%.

CONCLUSIONS: For patients with recurrent or persistent pain after MVD, the findings from our systematic review support that repeat MVD remains a feasible treatment for recurrent or persistent TN.

Microvascular decompression in trigeminal neuralgia: predictors of pain relief, complication avoidance, and lessons learned

Acta Neurochirurgica (2021) 163:3321–3336

To analyze characteristics associated with long-term pain relief after microvascular decompression (MVD) for trigeminal neuralgia (TGN). Description of associated morbidity and complication avoidance.

Methods One hundred sixty-five patients with TGN underwent 171 MVD surgeries at the authors’ institution. Patient characteristics and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) datasets were obtained through the hospital’s archiving system. Patients provided information about pre- and post-operative pain characteristics and neurologic outcome. Favorable outcome was defined as a Barrow Neurological Institute (BNI) pain intensity score of I to III with post-operative improvement of I grade.

Results Type of TGN pain with purely paroxysmal pain (p = 0.0202*) and TGN classification with classical TGN (p = 0.0372*) were the only significant predictors for long-term pain relief. Immediate pain relief occurred in 90.6% of patients with a recurrence rate of 39.4% after 3.5 ± 4.6 years. MRI reporting of a neurovascular conflict had a low negative predictive value of 39.6%. Mortality was 0% with major complications observed in 8.2% of patients. Older age was associated with lower complication rates (p = 0.0009***). Re-MVD surgeries showed improved long-term pain relief in four out of five cases.

Conclusions MVD is a safe and effective procedure even in the elderly. It has the unique potential to cure TGN if performed on a regular basis, and if key surgical steps are respected. Early MVD should be offered in case of medical treatment failure and paroxysmal pain symptoms. The presence of a neurovascular conflict on MRI is not mandatory. In case of recurrence, re-MVD is a good treatment option that should be discussed with patients.

Microvascular Decompression for Trigeminal Neuralgia: A Prospective, Multicenter Study

Neurosurgery 89:557–564, 2021

Microvascular decompression (MVD) is the most effective procedure for the long-term management of trigeminal neuralgia (TGN). However, retrospective and single-center studies are inherently biased, and there are currently no prospective, multi- center studies.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the short- and long-term outcomes and complications in patients with TGN who underwent MVD at specialized Japanese institutions.

METHODS: We enrolled patients with TGN who underwent MVD between April 2012 and March 2015. We recorded their facial pain grade and complications at 7 d (short term), 1 yr (mid-term), and 3 yr (long term) postoperatively.

RESULTS: There were 166 patients, comprising 60 men and 106 women (mean age 62.7 yr). Furthermore, 105 patients were aged over 60 yr. We conducted neuromonitoring in 84.3% of the cases. The complete pain relief, mortality, and complication rates at the short-term follow-up were 78.9%, 0%, and 16.3%, respectively. Overall, 155 patients (93.4%) completed the long-term follow-up, with the complete pain relief and complication rates of 80.0% and 5.2%, respectively.

CONCLUSION: In the hands of experienced neurosurgeons, MVD for TGN can achieve high long-term curative effects. In addition, complications are uncommon and usually transient. Our results indicate that MVD is an effective and safe treatment for patients with TGN, including elderly patients.

Redo surgery for trigeminal neuralgia: reasons for re‐exploration and long‐term outcomes

Acta Neurochirurgica (2021) 163:2407–2416

To investigate the causes of failure and recurrence after microvascular decompression (MVD) for trigeminal neuralgia (TGN) and to analyze the results of redo surgery.

Methods Sixty-three cases of redo surgery were retrospectively reviewed. Reasons for re-exploration were categorized into 4 groups based on the operative findings. Patient characteristics, outcomes of re-exploration, and operative complications were analyzed by Kaplan–Meier and logistic regression analyses.

Results Reasons for redo surgery were divided into arterial compression in 13 patients (21%), venous compression in 11 patients (17%), prosthesis-related in 25 patients (40%), and adhesion or negative exploration in 14 patients (22%). Immediate pain relief was obtained in 59 patients (94%) postoperatively with newly developed facial numbness in 17 patients (27%). Of these, 48 patients (76%) maintained pain-free 1 year postoperatively. Overall recurrence was noted in 17 patients (27%) during the median 49-month follow-up period. Most recurrences occurred within 1 year after redo surgery, but the prosthesis-related patients showed a continuous recurrence up to 4 years. Patients having vascular compression showed significantly better pain control than those without vascular contact in Kaplan–Meier analyses (p = 0.0421). No prognostic factor for pain-free 1 year after redo surgery was found.

Conclusions Redo surgery is effective for patients with remaining vascular compression rather than those without vascular contact. Teflon contact onto the nerve root should be avoided because it is a potential risk for recurrence and causes poor prognosis after redo surgery.

Subacute vision loss after microvascular decompression for trigeminal neuralgia

Acta Neurochirurgica (2021) 163:1635–1638

Microvascular decompression is the surgery of choice for typical trigeminal neuralgia (TN) that fails conservative medical management. Visual loss after MVD is a rare complication that has not been reported.

In this article, we present a patient who developed delayed visual loss and papilledema from transverse sinus stenosis resulting from bone wax compression after MVD for TN.

While waxing the edges of a retrosigmoid craniotomy may seem mundane, meticulous care should be taken to ensure that there is no compression of the venous sinuses, as this could lead to intracranial hypertension.

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.