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Dermatol Surg. 2004 May;30(5):807-12; discussion 812.

Trigeminal trophic syndrome--report of four cases and review of the literature.

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Department of Dermatology, Cleveland Clinic Foundation, Cleveland, Ohio 44195, USA.



Trigeminal trophic syndrome is a unilateral, frequently crescent-shaped neurotrophic ulceration of the face occurring after injury to the trigeminal nerve. The appearance of the ulcers resembles other disease entities such as granulomatous disease, neoplasm, vasculitis, infection, and factitial dermatitis.


The objectives of this study are to increase awareness of this disorder and to emphasize the importance of eliciting a thorough neurologic history when evaluating facial ulcerations.


Four cases are reported and, using MEDLINE, the English and non-English literature from 1982 to 2002 is reviewed.


Including this report, there have been 60 cases of trigeminal trophic syndrome reported from 1982 to 2002. The age at presentation ranged from 14 months to 93 years. Time of onset from injury to the trigeminal ganglion or its branches and the development of the ulcers ranged from 2 weeks to 30 years. One-third of the patients had undergone trigeminal nerve ablation for the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia and another third had a history of stroke. Other causes included craniotomy, head trauma, herpes infection.


The majority of cases of trigeminal trophic syndrome are associated with a history of stroke or trigeminal nerve ablation. Successful surgical outcome can be achieved if the underlying neurologic pathology is addressed before the reconstructive procedure.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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