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Acta Neurochir Suppl. 1995;64:128-31.

The Duke experience with the nucleus caudalis DREZ operation.

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Department of Surgery, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC, USA.


The nucleus caudalis DREZ operation has been performed in three phases at Duke. Between 1982 and 1988 radiofrequency (RF) lesions were made in the trigeminal nucleus extending from the C2 root to the obex using a straight electrode. Complications include ipsilateral arm ataxia due to spinocerebellar tract injury and ipsilateral lower limb weakness from the pyramidal tract. The former occurred at least transiently in 90% of cases. The electrode employed from 1988 to 1989 had proximal insulation protecting the spinocerebellar tract. Since 1989 a ninety degree bend has been added to the electrode to allow better placement. Two electrodes are used to accommodate the shape of the caudalis nucleus. A total of 101 procedures have been performed. The newest electrodes were used in 46 procedures. Ataxia is recognized in 39%. Overall pain relief was excellent in 34% and good in 40%. In post herpetic neuralgia 71% enjoyed excellent or good relief. Indications include post herpetic neuralgia, deafferentation pain (anaesthesia dolorosa, post-tic dysesthesia, stroke, MS, gasserian tumour, Gamma Knife radiation injury), facial trauma/surgery, atypical facial pain, and migraine/cluster headache. A study to compare this operation to deep brain stimulation prospectively for the above indications has been initiated.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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