Percutaneous Radiofrequency Rhizotomy Is Equally Effective for Trigeminal Neuralgia Patients with or Without Neurovascular Compression

Chih Hao Kao, Ming Hsueh Lee, Jen Tsung Yang, Yuan Hsiung Tsai, Martin Hsiu Chu Lin*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal Article peer-review

3 Scopus citations


Background: Neurovascular compression (NVC) in patients with trigeminal neuralgia (TN) can be a factor of treatment outcome, especially in microvascular decompression and stereotactic radiosurgery. No such effect has been reported in percutaneous radiofrequency rhizotomy (RF). This study aims to investigate whether NVC affects the efficacy of RF in patients with TN. Methods: We retrospectively reviewed patients with TN who received RF in our institution. Pretreatment magnetic resonance imaging was performed in every patient, and the presence of NVC was reviewed independently by two physicians. The patients were followed up at least for a year after the treatment. Pain severity was assessed with a numeric rating scale (NRS). Results: Sixty-two patients were included in the study. All of the patients had single-sided lesions, and 35 patients had NVC. There were no significant differences between these two groups of patients in terms of gender distribution, age, and pretreatment pain severity. Comparable pain severity improvement was found at 1-year follow-up between these two groups (NRS 7.93 ± 0.492 without compression vs 7.57 ± 0.451 with compression, P = 0.600). No significant difference in posttreatment pain severity at 1 year was found between these two patient groups (NRS 1.37 ± 0.466 without compression vs 1.66 ± 0.458 with compression, P = 0.667). Conclusions: For patients with TN treated by RF, the presence or absence of NVC is not likely to affect the 1-year pain control rate.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)807-814
Number of pages8
JournalPain Medicine (United States)
Issue number4
StatePublished - 01 04 2022

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Author(s).


  • Neuronavigation
  • Neurovascular Compression
  • Radiofrequency Rhizotomy
  • Trigeminal Neuralgia


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