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J Clin Neurosci. 2012 Jun;19(6):824-8. doi: 10.1016/j.jocn.2011.07.053. Epub 2012 Mar 27.

A prospective study of Gasserian ganglion pulsed radiofrequency combined with continuous radiofrequency for the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia.

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Department of Pain Medicine, Xuan Wu Hospital, Capital Medical University, 45 Changchun Street, Xuan Wu District, Beijing 100053, China.


We conducted a prospective randomized controlled study to evaluate whether continuous radiofrequency (CRF) combined with pulsed radiofrequency (PRF) to the Gasserian ganglion (GG) decreases the side effects of CRF while preserving efficacy. Sixty patients diagnosed with classic trigeminal neuralgia (TN) were treated with either 75°C CRF for 120 s to 180 s (SCRF group), 75°C CRF for 240 s to 300 s (LCRF group), or 42°C PRF for 10 minutes (min) followed by 75°C CRF for 120 s to 180 s (PCRF group). Patients were assessed for pain intensity, quality of life (QOL), and intensity of facial dysesthesia before (baseline), and at seven days, three months, six months, and 12 months after the procedure. The efficacy in pain relief was most significant on the seventh day after treatment and there were no significant differences between groups. After 12 months, >70% of patients in each group had complete pain relief, and the QOL in all three groups had increased significantly compared to baseline. The intensity of facial dysesthesia was mildest in the SCRF group and most severe in the PCRF group on the seventh day after the procedure, but most persistent in the LCRF group. Patients who receive PRF combined with CRF to the GG can achieve comparable pain relief to those who receive CRF alone, and shorter exposure of CRF could result in less destruction of the target tissue.

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