Fluoroscopic exposure during percutaneous balloon compression of the Gasserian ganglion

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This prospective case–control study documents the level of radiation expected during percutaneous balloon compression of the Gasserian ganglion.


Percutaneous balloon compression of the Gasserian ganglion is a minimally invasive treatment for trigeminal neuralgia resistant to medical treatment and an alternative to microvascular decompression. This operation requires the use of fluoroscopy to navigate the needle through the foramen ovale and to monitor balloon inflation and deflation. However, the level of radiation exposure for this technique has never been reported. Exposure data (fluoroscopy time in seconds and radiation dose in mGycm2) were collected during 17 procedures on 14 patients using the dose report provided by the digital interface of the fluoroscope.


The mean fluoroscopy time per patient was 62 s, ranging from 102.9 s to 44.9 s, and the mean radiation dose per patient was 1137.18 mGycm2, ranging from 1738 mGycm2 to 639.5 mGycm2.


This quantification of the dose and duration of radiation during percutaneous compression of the trigeminal ganglion shows that the amount of radiation required to perform this operation is significant and makes lead-coated protection clothing and careful use of the fluoroscope mandatory.

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