Microvascular Decompression for Trigeminal Neuralgia Due to Venous Compression Alone

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Abstract

Microvascular decompression (MVD) has been confirmed as an effective treatment of trigeminal neuralgia (TN); however, most previous reports just focused on MVD for TN caused by arterial conflict, there is a paucity of information about its use in venous compression causing TN. In the present study, the authors summarize 5-year experience of MVD for primary TN due to venous compression alone. Thirty-four patients with primary TN caused solely by veins underwent MVD. The presenting symptoms, key operative notes, surgical outcomes together with complications were reviewed. Of all the 34 patients, 19 (55.9%) patients occurred as typical TN. The V2 division was the most commonly affected area. Most of the venous conflicts were grade III (20/34, 58.8%). Deep superior petrosal venous system was the most frequent offending vessel (21/34, 61.8%). The venous conflicts were located at the trigeminal root entry zone in 10 (29.4%) patients, the mid cisternal zone in 18 (52.9%) patients, and the porus of Meckel's cave in 11 (32.4%) patients. At the last follow-up, excellent outcome was obtained in 26 (76.5%) patients, 7 (20.6%) patients got good outcome, fair outcome was achieved in 7 (20.6%) patients, and 1 patient unimproved (2.9%). Cerebrospinal fluid leakage was the most common complication (5.9%). In conclusion, MVD is a safe and effective surgical option for TN due to venous compression alone. It is noteworthy to explore the entire nerve and to protect veins as much as possible.

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