Gamma Knife stereotactic radiosurgical treatment of idiopathic trigeminal neuralgia: long-term outcome and complications.

Kostas N. Fountas, Joseph R. Smith, Gregory P. Lee, Patrick D. Jenkins, Rebecca R. Cantrell, W. Chris Sheils

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32 Scopus citations


OBJECT: Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) with the Gamma Knife (GK) is a rapidly emerging surgical modality in the management of medically refractory idiopathic trigeminal neuralgia (TN). The current study examines the long-term outcome in patients with drug-resistant idiopathic TN who underwent GK surgery at the authors' institution. METHODS: One hundred and six consecutive patients (38 men and 68 women) with proven medically refractory idiopathic TN were included in this retrospective study. Their ages were 41-82 years (mean 72.3 years). All patients underwent SRS with prescribed maximal radiation doses ranging from 70 to 85 Gy. Isocenters 1-3 were used and plugging was used selectively. The follow-up period was 12-72 months (mean 34.3 months). The patients were divided into 2 groups according to their history of previous surgery. RESULTS: The initial response rate in patients with no history of previous surgery was 92.9%; in those who had undergone previous surgery, the initial response rate was 85.7%. At the end of the 1st posttreatment year, an excellent outcome was achieved in 82.5% of patients who had not had previous surgery, and in 69.4% of those who had. The respective outcome rates for the 2nd posttreatment year were 78 and 63.5%, respectively. The most common complication was the development of persistent paresthesia, which occurred in 15.8% of patients with no previous surgery and 16.3% of those with previous surgery. CONCLUSIONS: Stereotactic radiosurgery with the GK is a safe and effective treatment option for patients with medically refractory idiopathic TN.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)E8
JournalNeurosurgical focus
Issue number6
StatePublished - 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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