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Case Reports in Neurological Medicine
Volume 2014 (2014), Article ID 923516, 4 pages
Case Report

Successful Management of Refractory Headache and Facial Pain due to Cavernous Sinus Meningioma with Sphenopalatine Ganglion Radiofrequency

Center of Pain Medicine, University of Iowa, Iowa City, IA 52242, USA

Received 17 July 2014; Revised 14 September 2014; Accepted 17 September 2014; Published 29 September 2014

Academic Editor: José Luis González-Gutiérrez

Copyright © 2014 Foad Elahi and Kwo Wei David Ho. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Headaches and facial pain can be extremely difficult to manage for the patient and the clinician. In the medical literature, it has been suggested that the autonomic reflex plays an important role in the pathophysiology of facial neuralgia. The sphenopalatine ganglion is the largest parasympathetic ganglion outside the cranium. It is an easy accessible target for pain management. The application of radiofrequency nerve ablation was described in the medical literature. In this case report, we describe a 54-year-old female. She was diagnosed with a cavernous sinus meningioma. She underwent surgical resection and gamma knife radiosurgery. She was suffering from an intractable hemifacial pain for many years. Her pain started shortly after surgery and continued throughout many years. Sphenopalatine ganglion block in multiple occasions was able to provide temporary relief. The patient’s intractable hemicranial headaches and hemifacial pain responded to the sphenopalatine ganglion radiofrequency nerve ablation. The pain response remained unchanged for 12 months after procedure. This case report increased our current knowledge about the sphenopalatine ganglion role in the headache and facial intractable pain management. The failure of available antalgic medications to adequately control pain in similar patients underscores the need to develop an algorithm for therapies.