We analyzed 104 patients with trigeminal neuralgia who underwent microvascular decompression and who were followed up for more than 12 months during the period from January 1992 to June 1998. In this recent series, we utilized three-dimensional time-of-flight magnetic resonance angiography (3D-TOF MRA) for all patients with trigeminal neuralgia. A 3D-TOF MRA was beneficial in treatment planning and in predicting surgical outcome by demonstrating cranial nerve compression as well excluding other etiologies such as tumor or vascular lesions. The patients were followed up for 1-7 years (mean 5.7 +/- 1.2 years). Initial pain relief was complete in 89 patients (85.6%) and partial in 12 patients (11.5%). There were three primary failures (2.9%). The acceptable pain relief rate (complete relief: 79.8%, partial relief: 11.5%) was determined in the long-term follow-up of surgical results. Pain recurred in 6 patients (5.8%). The mean time to recurrence was 48 months (36-93 months). There were no serious or annoying complications such as anesthesia dolorosa.
Copyright 2001 S. Karger AG, Basel