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12.01.2021 | Original Article

Factors affecting long-lasting pain relief after Gamma Knife radiosurgery for trigeminal neuralgia: a single institutional analysis and literature review

Zeitschrift:
Neurosurgical Review
Autoren:
Lina R. Barzaghi, Luigi Albano, Claudia Scudieri, Carmen R. Gigliotti, Antonella del Vecchio, Pietro Mortini
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Abstract

Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS) is a well-established safe and effective treatment for trigeminal neuralgia (TN) with high initial success rate (80–90%). Why the pain relief is progressively decreased with time is a matter of considerable debate. To investigate factors related to long-lasting pain relief, the authors conducted a retrospective analysis focusing on anatomical and radiosurgical related parameters, chosen according to literature review. One hundred and twelve patients with classical trigeminal neuralgia and follow-up longer than 12 months were selected from our institutional consecutive series of patients treated by GKRS. Patients were followed for a mean period of 61.5 ± 3.5 months (range, 12–126 months) to evaluate, as endpoints, long-term pain relief and hypoesthesia onset. The median maximum radiation dose was 80 Gy (range 70–90 Gy). Factors related to poor long-term pain relief were prescription dose < 80 Gy (p = 0.038), calibration dose rate < 2.5 Gy/min (p = 0.018), and distance between isocenter and trigeminal nerve emergence > 8 mm (p < 0.001). When analyzing patients who received 80 Gy as maximum dose without any sector blocking, we notice that ID50 < 2.7 mJ was predictive for longer period of pain control (p = 0.043). It was experienced also among patients in which a small volume of the nerve (< 35%) received more than 80% of the maximal dose, compared to those in which a larger volume of the nerve was irradiated with maximal dose (p 0.034). This last result was significant if the shot was 8 mm or less from the pons. Several single-patient anatomical and radiosurgical parameters should be considered to improve GKRS effectiveness.

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