Current Issue - December 2021 - Vol 24 Issue 8


  1. 2021;24;E1255-E1262The Analysis of Percutaneous Balloon Compression on Efficacy and Negative Emotion in the Treatment of Recurrent Trigeminal Neuralgia After Surgical Procedures
    Retrospective Study
    Xiaochong Fan, MD, Fuxing Xu, MD, Huan Ren, MD, Zhongyuan Lu, MD, Huilian Bu, MD, Letian Ma, MD, Cunlong Kong, MD, and Tao Wang, MD.

BACKGROUND: Recurrent trigeminal neuralgia (TN) after surgical operations can be quite difficult to treat, and treatment measures have not been standardized. Patients often have long-term, repeated severe pain, which may easily cause anxiety and depression and can exert a negative effect on the quality of life. Despite the known efficacy of percutaneous balloon compression (PBC) for TN, it is unclear whether PBC can be used as the preferred surgical treatment for postoperative recurrent TN and effectively improve patients’ negative emotions.

OBJECTIVES: This study aimed to evaluate the clinical curative effect of PBC in patients with postoperative recurrent TN and analyze the improvement in conditions such as anxiety, depression, and sleep disorders.

STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective study.

SETTING: Center of Pain Medicine, Department of Anesthesiology, pain, and Perioperative Medicine, the First Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University.

METHODS: Clinical data from 121 postoperative recurrent TN patients who underwent PBC between August 2017 and June 2019 were retrospectively reviewed and analyzed. The Barrow Neurological Institute pain intensity (BNI-P) score was used to measure the severity of pain. The Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) and Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index (PSQI) were used to evaluate anxiety, depression, and sleep status.

RESULTS: On postoperative day 1, 104 patients (86.0%) reported no pain, 9 patients (7.4%) had occasional pain that did not require medication, and 8 patients (6.6%) experienced no significant pain relief. The total efficacy was 93.4%. Moreover, 3 patients (2.5%) reported significant pain relief 2 weeks postoperatively. Within a follow-up time of 12 months, 101 (83.5%) patients remained pain-free, while 5 patients (4.1%) experienced recurrence. Taking into account economic factors, the patients were tolerant to pain after taking medication and did not undergo repeated PBC. Forty-six patients (38.0%) suffered from anxiety, 70 patients (57.9%) had depression, and 62 patients (51.2%) had poor sleep quality preoperatively. There were significant improvements in anxiety, depression, and sleep status postoperatively compared with preoperatively. Postoperative side effects included facial numbness in 115 patients (95.0%), masticatory muscle weakness in 86 patients (71.1%), herpes simplex in 18 patients (14.9%), and diplopia secondary to abducens nerve palsy in 2 patients (1.7%). None of the patients had corneal anesthesia, anesthesia dolorosa, aseptic meningitis, cerebrospinal fluid leakage, subarachnoid hemorrhage, carotid cavernous fistula, or death in this study.

LIMITATIONS: This study was a single-center retrospective study, the sample size was small, and the follow-up time was relatively short. Therefore, the long-term efficacy of PBC for postoperative recurrent TN needs further evaluation from multiple centers with a large sample size and long-term follow-up.

CONCLUSIONS: PBC is a minimally invasive, safe, and effective procedure. Moreover, it significantly improves the symptoms of anxiety, depression, and sleep quality caused by TN, so it appears to be regarded as an optimized choice for patients with recurrent TN after surgical procedures.

KEY WORDS: Percutaneous balloon compression, recurrent trigeminal neuralgia, anxiety, depression, sleep disorders

Clinical trial registration number and Registry URL: ChiCTR2000038205,