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Percutaneous Balloon Compression for Trigeminal Neuralgias and Autonomic Cephalalgia

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(Headache 2007;48:130-134) Objective.—

This prospective study aimed to evaluate the results of percutaneous trigeminal ganglion balloon compression (BC) in patients with various types of trigeminal neuralgia (TN) and autonomic cephalalgia. Methods.—

Twenty-five consecutive patients underwent BC and were followed up for 27-60 months. They were divided into 2 groups: group A (n = 18) patients with idiopathic TN and group B (n = 7) patients with secondary TN (n = 5) and trigeminal autonomic cephalalgia (TAC) (n = 2). Results.—

Postoperatively, 15 patients in group A experienced pain relief, one required medication and 2 had no response; in group B, 6 were free of pain, including the 2 patients with TAC, and one required medication. Complications in both groups were either functionally trivial or infrequent. None of the patients developed keratitis or anesthesia dolorosa. Pain recurrence occurred early (<6 months) in one patient from group B, and late in 2 patients from group A. Conclusion.—

Balloon compression is a minimally invasive procedure that seems to be comparably successful for idiopathic and secondary TN, as well as TAC. However, further studies are deemed necessary to establish it as the first-line treatment in medically resistant trigeminal pain.
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Keywords: balloon compression; cluster headache; facial pain; trigeminal autonomic cephalalgia; trigeminal neuralgia

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2008

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