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J Neurosurg. 2013 Nov;119(5):1302-8. doi: 10.3171/2013.7.JNS13231. Epub 2013 Aug 30.

Hypertension in patients with cranial nerve vascular compression syndromes and comparison with a population-based cohort.

Author information

1
Department of Neurosurgery, Oslo University Hospital-Rikshospitalet;

Abstract

OBJECT:

Although essential arterial hypertension (AH) represents a major health issue, its underlying causes remain unknown. An intriguing hypothesis is that AH in some cases may be caused by vascular compression of the rostral ventrolateral medulla (RVLM). Because hemifacial spasms (HFSs) are caused by vascular compression of the seventh cranial nerve in close proximity to the RVLM, one would, if this hypothesis is correct, expect to find a positive association between the occurrence of AH and chronic HFSs. Such a positive association would not be expected in patients with trigeminal neuralgia (TN), since TN is caused by vascular compression of the fifth cranial nerve, which is not close to the RVLM.

METHODS:

In view of this background, the authors conducted a retrospective population-based study to investigate how the occurrence of AH in patients with either HFSs or TN compares with the prevalence of AH in the general population, when adjusted for sex and age. The general population was represented by participants of the Nord-Tr√łndelag Health Study 3 (HUNT3).

RESULTS:

The prevalence of AH in the authors' patients with HFSs was significantly higher than in a sex- and age-adjusted sample from the general population; this was not true for the patients with TN.

CONCLUSIONS:

The authors suggest that the data provide supporting evidence to the theory that compression of the RVLM may be one cause of AH.

PMID:
23991839
DOI:
10.3171/2013.7.JNS13231
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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