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International Journal of Otolaryngology
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 919186, 13 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/919186
Review Article

Clinical Outcomes of Gamma Knife Radiosurgery in the Treatment of Patients with Trigeminal Neuralgia

1Gamma Knife of Spokane, 910 W 5th Avenue, Suite 102, Spokane, WA 99204, USA
2Cancer Care Northwest, 910 W 5th Avenue, Suite 102, Spokane, WA 99204, USA
3MacKay & Meyer MDs, 711 S Cowley Street, Suite 210, Spokane, WA 99202, USA
4Spokane Brain & Spine, 801 W 5th Avenue, Suite 210, Spokane, WA 99204, USA

Received 14 June 2011; Accepted 11 August 2011

Academic Editor: Peter S. Roland

Copyright © 2012 Ameer L. Elaimy et al. 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.

Abstract

Since its introduction by Leksell, Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS) has become increasingly popular as a management approach for patients diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia (TN). For this reason, we performed a modern review of the literature analyzing the efficacy of GKRS in the treatment of patients who suffer from TN. For patients with medically refractory forms of the condition, GKRS has proven to be an effective initial and repeat treatment option. Cumulative research suggests that patients treated a single time with GKRS exhibit similar levels of facial pain control when compared to patients treated multiple times with GKRS. However, patients treated on multiple occasions with GKRS are more likely to experience facial numbness and other facial sensory changes when compared to patients treated once with GKRS. Although numerous articles have reported MVD to be superior to GKRS in achieving facial pain relief, the findings of these comparison studies are weakened by the vast differences in patient age and comorbidities between the two studied groups and cannot be considered conclusive. Questions remain regarding optimal GKRS dosing and targeting strategies, which warrants further investigation into this controversial matter.