Chronic precentral stimulation in trigeminal neuropathic pain

Acta Neurochir (Wien). 1996;138(11):1300-6. doi: 10.1007/BF01411059.


The results of Deep Brain Stimulation in deafferentation pain syndromes, in particular in thalamic pain, indicate that excellent long-term pain relief can hardly ever be achieved. We report 7 cases using Motor-Cortex-Stimulation for treating severe trigeminal neuropathic pain syndromes, i.e., dysaesthesia, anaesthesia dolorosa and postherpetic neuralgia. The first implantation of the stimulation device for precentral cerebral stimulation was performed in June 1993, the last in September 1995. In all but one case the impulse-generator was implanted after a successful period of test stimulation. Successful means a pain reduction of more than 50% as assessed with a Visual Analogue Scale. Excluding one case, in whom a prolonged focal seizure resulting in a postictal speech arrest occurred during test stimulation, there have been no operative complications and the postoperative course was uneventful. In all the other patients the pain inhibition appeared below the threshold for producing motor effects. Initially these patients reported a good to excellent pain relief. In three of 6 patients a good to excellent pain control was maintained for a follow-up period of 5 months to 2 years. In the remaining three patients the positive effect decreased over several months.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Craniotomy
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy / instrumentation
  • Electric Stimulation Therapy / methods*
  • Electrocardiography
  • Electrodes, Implanted
  • Evoked Potentials, Somatosensory
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Median Nerve / physiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Pain / physiopathology*
  • Pain Measurement
  • Prostheses and Implants*
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia / physiopathology
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia / therapy*