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J Neurosurg. 1994 Jun;80(6):993-7.

The effect of single-application topical ophthalmic anesthesia in patients with trigeminal neuralgia. A randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial.

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1
Department of Neurological Surgery, Presbyterian University Hospital, University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Abstract

To evaluate the reported benefit of ipsilateral single-application ophthalmic anesthetic eyedrops in patients with typical trigeminal neuralgia, a randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial was performed. Forty-seven patients were randomly assigned to receive two drops of either proparacaine (25 cases) or saline placebo (22 cases). The experimental and placebo groups were equivalent in regard to patient age, distribution of trigeminal neuralgia pain, duration of pain, current medication regimens, and number of prior procedures performed. Pain response was assessed at 3, 10, and 30 days after instillation using two pain rating scales and a measure of pain frequency. Treatment failure was defined in advance as any of the following: a lack of clinical response, the need for an increase in medication, or the need for surgery. No significant difference in outcomes was found between the two groups either when using a verbal pain rating scale (p = 0.24) or when comparing overall pain status (unchanged, improved throughout the study period, or temporarily improved) (p = 0.98). No difference in the frequency of trigeminal neuralgia attacks between the two treatment groups (scaled within five levels of pain frequency) was detected (p = 0.09). During follow-up monitoring, 11 patients in the test drug group and 14 in the placebo group required surgery because of persistent pain (p = 0.24). The results of this study indicate that single-application topical ophthalmic anesthesia reduces neither the severity nor the frequency of pain in comparison to placebo administration. Although a simple and safe treatment, the single application of topical ophthalmic eyedrops provides no short- or long-term benefit to patients with trigeminal neuralgia.

PMID:
8189280
DOI:
10.3171/jns.1994.80.6.0993
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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