- 2017;20;E873-E881Effects of Pulsed Versus Conventional Versus Combined Radiofrequency for the Treatment of Trigeminal Neuralgia: A Prospective Study
Abdelraheem Elawamy, MD, Esam Eldein Mohamed Abdalla, MD, and Ghaydaa A. Shehata, MD.
BACKGROUND: During radiofrequency bursts of energy are applied to nervous tissue. The clinical advantages of this treatment remain unclear.
OBJECTIVES: We compared the effectiveness and pain relief for idiopathic trigeminal neuralgia (TN) after continuous radiofrequency (CRF), pulsed radiofrequency (PRF), and combined continuous and pulsed radiofrequency (CCPRF) treatment of the Gasserian ganglion (GG).
STUDY DESIGN: We conducted a randomized prospective study. Forty-three patients were included. Eleven patients were treated with PRF at 42°C for 10 minutes (PRF group), 12 patients received CRF for 270 seconds at 75 °C (CRF group), and 20 patients received PRF for 10 minutes at 42°C followed by CRF for at 60°C for 270 seconds (CCPRF group).
SETTING: Assuit University Hospital, Pain and Neurology outpatient clinics.
METHODS: Patients were assessed for pain, satisfaction, and consumption of analgesics at baseline and 7 days, one month, 6 months, 12 months, and 24 months after the procedure. The incidence of complications, anesthesia dolorosa, weakness of muscles of mastication, numbness, and technical complications, was evaluated after the procedure.
RESULTS: Excellent pain relief was achieved after 6, 12, and 24 months, respectively in 95%, 85%, and 70% of patients with CCPRF; 75%, 75%, and reduced to 50% among patients with CRF; and 82%, reduced to 9.1%, and 0% of patients with PRF. No complications were recorded in 75% of patients in the CCPRF and PRF groups. There was one case of anesthesia dolorosa, 4 cases of masseter muscle weakness, and 5 cases of severe numbness recorded in the CRF group.
LIMITATION: There was a small number of patients in each group.
CONCLUSION: The best results were observed in the CCPRF group, followed by the CRF group, and then the PRF group.
Key words: Pulsed, continuous, radiofrequency, trigeminal neuralgia, Gasserian ganglion