Abstract : Background: Radiosurgery is one of the neurosurgical alternatives for intractable trigeminal neuralgia (TN).
Objective: Although acceptable short-/mid-term outcomes have been reported, long-term results have not been well documented. Methods: We report the long-term results in 130 patients who underwent radiosurgery for classical TN and were subsequently monitored through at least 7 years (median = 9.9, range = 7-14.5) of follow-up.
Results: The median age was 66.5 years. A total of 122 patients (93.8%) became pain free (median delay = 15 days) after the radiosurgery procedure (Barrow Neurological Institute, BNI class I-IIIa). The probability of remaining pain free without medication at 3, 5, 7 and 10 years was 77.9, 73.8, 68 and 51.5%, respectively. Fifty-six patients (45.9%) who were initially pain free experienced recurrent pain (median delay = 73.1 months). However, at 10 years, of the initial 130 patients, 67.7% were free of any recurrence requiring new surgery (BNI class I-IIIa). The new hypesthesia rate was 20.8% (median delay of onset = 12 months), and only 1 patient (0.8%) reported very bothersome hypesthesia.
Conclusions: The long-term results were comparable to those from our general series (recently published), and the high probability of long-lasting pain relief and rarity of consequential complications of radiosurgery may suggest it as a first- and/or second-line treatment for classical, drug-resistant TN.