Background. Auriculotemporal neuralgia (ATN) is an infrequent syndrome consisting in strictly unilateral pain in the temporal region associated with nerve tenderness, which can be successfully treated with anesthetic blockade. We analysed clinical characteristics and treatment response in a series of eight patients.
Methods. Series of consecutive patients diagnosed with ATN at Headache Clinics of two university hospitals in Spain. Data on demographic and pain characteristics, as well as response to treatment are presented.
Results. Eight patients (seven women). Mean age at onset was 52.8 ± 14.3 years. Pain was strictly unilateral (left-sided in five cases, right-sided in three), and triggered by pressing the preauricular area. Four patients presented background pain, mostly dull in quality, with an intensity of 5.75 ± 1.2 on the verbal analogical scale (VAS). In six, burning exacerbations occurred, ranging from 2 seconds to 30 minutes, with intensity 7.3 ± 1.5 on VAS. Complete relief was achieved with gabapentin in three cases, anaesthetic blockade in three and spontaneously in two.
Conclusion. ATN is uncommon in headache units. Gabapentin is a good alternative therapeutic option to anesthetic blockade.