Sphenopalatine ganglion pulsed radiofrequency treatment in 30 patients suffering from chronic face and head pain

Pain Pract. 2005 Sep;5(3):223-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1533-2500.2005.05314.x.


This study evaluated the efficacy of sphenopalatine ganglion pulsed radiofrequency (SPG-PRF) treatment in patients suffering from chronic head and face pain. Thirty patients were observed from 4 to 52 months after PRF treatment. The primary efficacy measures were the reduction in oral medication use, including opioids, time-to-next-treatment modality for presenting symptoms, duration of pain relief, and the presence of residual symptoms. Secondary objectives included the evaluation of adverse effects and complications. All data were derived from patient charts, phone conversations, and clinical follow-up visits. Fourteen percent of respondents reported no pain relief, 21% had complete pain relief, and 65% of the patients reported mild to moderate pain relief from SPG-PRF treatment. Sixty-five percent of the respondents reported mild to moderate reduction in oral opioids. None of the patients developed significant infection, bleeding, hematoma formation, dysesthesia, or numbness of palate, maxilla, or posterior pharynx. A large-scale study of SPG-PRF for the treatment of face and head pain has not been previously reported. Our results suggest that a prospective, randomized, controlled trial study to confirm efficacy and safety of this novel treatment for chronic head and face pain is justified.