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Acta Neurochir (Wien). 2009 Oct;151(10):1245-50. doi: 10.1007/s00701-009-0330-5. Epub 2009 Jun 10.

Microvascular decompression for glossopharyngeal neuralgia: a long-term retrospectic review of the Milan-Bologna experience in 31 consecutive cases.

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  • 1Department of Neurosurgery, Fondazione Istituto Neurologico Carlo Besta, Milano, Italy. ferrolipaolo@hotmail.com

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To examine surgical findings and results of microvascular decompression (MVD) for glossopharyngeal neuralgia (GN).

METHODS:

Between 1990 and 2007, 31 consecutive patients affected by drug-resistant GN underwent MVD through a retromastoid keyhole in the supine position with the head rotated to the opposite side. A retrospective analysis was performed that paid particular attention to the relationship among surgical technique, pain control and side effects.

RESULTS:

A vascular compression of the glossopharyngeal nerve was found in all cases. Twenty-eight out of 31 patients (90.3%) were found to be pain free without medication at long-term follow-up (1-17 years, mean 7.5 years). Three patients (9.7%) were found to require medication to control pain paroxysms that were less frequent and less severe than those observed preoperatively. Two patients required repeated surgery for a drug-resistant recurrence of pain for a total of 33 MVDs. We observed no mortality and did not find any long-term surgical morbidity. Cranial nerve impairment, when observed, always resolved in the following months.

CONCLUSIONS:

MVD is a safe and effective treatment for GN in patients of all ages.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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