Frameless Stereotactic Radiosurgery for Treatment of Multiple Sclerosis-Related Trigeminal Neuralgia.World Neurosurg. 2017 Jul; 103:702-712.WN
Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) affects 7% of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). In such patients, TN is difficult to manage either pharmacologically and surgically. Radiosurgical rhizotomy is an effective treatment option. The nonisocentric geometry of radiation beams of CyberKnife introduces new concepts in the treatment of TN. Its efficacy for MS-related TN has not yet been demonstrated.
Twenty-seven patients with refractory TN and MS were treated. A nonisocentric beams distribution was chosen; the maximal target dose was 72.5 Gy. The maximal dose to the brainstem was <12 Gy. Effects on pain, medications, sensory disturbance, rate, and time of pain recurrence were analyzed.
Median follow-up was 37 (18-72) months. Barrow Neurological Institute pain scale score I-III was achieved in 23/27 patients (85%) within 45 days. Prescription isodose line (80%) accounting for a dose of 58 Gy incorporated an average of 4.85 mm (4-6 mm) of the nerve and mean nerve volume of 26.4 mm3 (range 20-38 mm3). Seven out of 27 patients (26%) had mild, not bothersome, facial numbness (Barrow Neurological Institute numbness score II). The rate of pain control decreased progressively after the first year, and only 44% of patients retained pain control 4 years later.
Frameless radiosurgery can be effectively used to perform retrogasserian rhizotomy. Pain relief was satisfactory and, with our dose/volume constraints, no sensory complications were recorded. Nonetheless, long-term pain control was possible in less than half of the patients. This is a limitation that CyberKnife radiosurgery shares with other techniques in MS patients.