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Radiology. 1997 Aug;204(2):455-60.

Trigeminal neuralgia: comparison of two MR imaging techniques in the demonstration of neurovascular contact.

Author information

1
Department of Radiology, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To compare two magnetic resonance (MR) imaging techniques for demonstration of vascular contact with the trigeminal nerve.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Thirteen patients with unilateral trigeminal neuralgia and 50 control subjects underwent three-dimensional fast inflow with steady-state precession (FISP) and contrast material-enhanced magnetization-prepared rapid acquisition gradient-echo (MP-RAGE) MR imaging. The images were independently reviewed by two neuroradiologists, who were blinded to the clinical details. Six of the 13 patients underwent surgery.

RESULTS:

Vascular contact with the trigeminal nerve at the root entry zone was seen on FISP images in 10 of 13 (77%) symptomatic nerves and in eight of 113 (7%) asymptomatic nerves (P < .001). MP-RAGE and FISP images demonstrated arterial contacts equally well. MP-RAGE images demonstrated one additional venous contact at the root entry zone in a patient with ipsilateral trigeminal neuralgia. Interobserver agreement was good for both FISP (kappa = 0.69) and MP-RAGE (kappa = 0.78) images. The presence of vascular contact at the root entry zone, seen on preoperative MR images, was confirmed in all six patients who underwent surgery.

CONCLUSION:

Both FISP and MP-RAGE MR imaging are useful in demonstrating vascular contact with the trigeminal nerve at the root entry zone in patients with trigeminal neuralgia.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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