Current Issue - November/December 2023 - Vol 26 Issue 7


  1. 2023;23;E823-E832Efficacy and Complications of Percutaneous Balloon Compression for Patients With Trigeminal Neuralgia With and Without Concomitant Continuous Pain
    Retrospective Study
    Shuo Li, MBBS, Chenlong Liao, MD, PhD, Guangyu Wang, MMed, Yuanjie Zhang, MMed, Yiwei Wu, MD, PhD, and Wenchuan Zhang, MD, PhD.

BACKGROUND: Percutaneous balloon compression (PBC) has become one of the most common and effective minimally invasive treatments for trigeminal neuralgia (TN). However, the initial and long-term pain outcomes, as well as the complication rates of PBC for patients with TN with concomitant continuous pain (CCP) have yet to be specifically documented.

OBJECTIVE: In this clinical study, we aimed to evaluate and compare the results of PBC in treating TN with and without CCP.

STUDY DESIGN: Retrospective study.

METHODS: This research retrospectively analyzed the pain outcomes and complications of 57 patients with TN with CCP and 118 patients with TN without CCP who had undergone PBC at our institution from January 2019 through June 2022. Procedures were performed by one senior neurosurgeon in a single center. The postdischarge follow-up and the collection of clinical data, including immediate and long-term pain relief, time to recurrence, and complications, were completed through phone contact by an independent neurosurgeon blind to the patients’ information. Then, the results of the 2 groups were compared; demographic and clinical data were evaluated for possible predictive factors for poor pain outcomes.

RESULTS: In this study, PBC immediately resulted in complete pain relief in 70.2% of patients with CCP and significant pain relief in 84.2% of patients with CCP. For patients without CCP, the rates were 73.7% for complete pain relief and 85.6% for significant pain relief. After a minimum 6-month follow-up period, the rates decreased to 52.6% for complete pain relief and 73.7% for significant pain relief in patients with CCP, compared to 54.2% and 75.4% in those without CCP. The initial and long-term pain control rates in patients without CCP were slightly higher than those with CCP, but the differences were not statistically significant (P = 0.878, P = 0.968, respectively). The incidences of postoperative complications were similar between patients with and without CCP (21.1% vs 22.0%, P = 0.883), whereas the remission rate of complications in patients with CCP was significantly lower than that in patients without CCP (25.0% vs 69.2%, P = 0.011). A longer symptoms duration and having a history of neurodestructive procedures were predictive factors for poor outcomes following PBC.

LIMITATIONS: The study was performed in a single-center. The nature of this research is retrospective instead of prospective and randomized, with the inability to control completely for variables. Additionally, the follow-up duration was not long enough to observe recurrence in some patients.

CONCLUSIONS: This is the first specifically reported experience treating TN with CCP with PBC. PBC can result in significant relief of both episodic and constant pain from TN with CCP. Patients with a longer duration of pain and prior neurodestructive procedures have a higher risk of poor outcomes. The presence of CCP is not associated with pain outcomes and should not be considered a contraindication to PBC.

KEY WORDS: Percutaneous balloon compression, trigeminal neuralgia, concomitant continuous pain, pain relief, comparison, efficacy, complication, predictive factor