Traitement de la névralgie essentielle du trijumeau par radiochirurgie stéréotaxique

Idiopathic trigeminal neuralgia is defined as brief paroxysms of pain limited to the facial distribution of the trigeminal nerve. Drug therapy is considered to be the first-line of treatment for trigeminal neuralgia. Unfortunately, medical treatment does not always provide satisfactory pain relief for 25% of the patients. Moreover, the relief provided by drug therapy generally decreases over time, and increased dosages of these medications are limited because of side effects. In this case, patients can be offered several surgical approaches, such as percutaneous techniques (thermocoagulation, microcompression, glycerol injection) or microvascular decompression in the cerebello-pontine angle (Gardner-Jannetta's technique). In this indication, stereotactic radiosurgery, driven by teams using Gamma Knife(®), has shown promising efficacy and tolerance to allow this treatment being truly part of trigeminal neuralgia treatment. Technological progresses now allow performing radiosurgery with ballistic and dosimetric processes optimized with stereotactic radiosurgery dedicated linear accelerators. This procedure supports frame implantation to guarantee targeting accuracy in accordance of elevated dose distribution. This article on trigeminal neuralgia treatment will review the different medical and surgical therapeutic options and specify the contemporary place of stereotactic radiosurgery in the light of its clinical results and tolerance aspects.

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