Thermogangliolysis of the Gasserian ganglion under computed tomography fluoroscopy

J Anesth. 2005;19(2):177-9. doi: 10.1007/s00540-005-0307-3.


Gasserian ganglion block is an established treatment for trigeminal neuralgia. A landmark approach assisted by X-ray fluoroscopy is the most common method; however, visualization of the foramen ovale is difficult in some cases. Here we report two cases in which a novel technique using modern computed tomography (CT) fluoroscopy was employed. A 63-year-old woman suffering pain in the maxillary nerve area was treated by thermogangliolysis under CT fluoroscopy. The patient was positioned on a CT stage with the head in an overhanging position. The CT gantry was set at an oblique angle to obtain a coronal view of the foramen ovale. The safest and shortest route to the foramen was designed using the CT image and a 22-gauge insulated needle was advanced following the designed route under CT fluoroscopy. The effect of the nerve block was estimated by injection of a test dose of mepivacaine, after which the ganglion was thermally coagulated at 90 degrees C. Satisfactory analgesia was obtained in this case without any complications. Another patient (65 years old) was also treated by the same technique, and satisfactory pain relief was obtained. In conclusion, CT fluoroscopy-guided Gasserian ganglion thermolysis is considered a safe, quick, and effective treatment for trigeminal neuralgia.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Female
  • Fluoroscopy
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Nerve Block / methods*
  • Tomography, X-Ray Computed
  • Trigeminal Ganglion*
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia / therapy*