Trigeminal Neuralgia

  • Lawrence S. Chin
  • Shilpen Patel
  • Thomas Mattingly
  • Young Kwok


Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is a facial pain syndrome characterized by a severe electrical, shooting pain lasting seconds to minutes that is confined to one or more distributions of the trigeminal nerve. More recently, the International Headache Society has defined TN pain as the following: (a) paroxysmal attacks, lasting from a second to 2 minutes, affecting one or more divisions of the trigeminal nerve; (b) pain that is intense, sharp, superficial or stabbing, precipitated from trigger areas or factors; (c) attacks stereotyped in the individual patient; (d) no clinically evident neurologic deficit; and (e) pain not attributed to another disorder [1]. The pain, typically unilateral, may be bilateral in approximately 5% of cases and may occur either spontaneously or be triggered by innocuous sensations or activities such as a gust of wind, chewing, drinking, brushing teeth, shaving, or washing the face. Severely affected patients may lose weight from not eating. The median age of presentation is in the sixties, and it affects women more often than men [2].


Radiat Oncol Biol Phys Trigeminal Nerve Trigeminal Neuralgia Gamma Knife Gamma Knife Surgery 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lawrence S. Chin
    • 1
  • Shilpen Patel
    • 2
  • Thomas Mattingly
    • 3
  • Young Kwok
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of NeurosurgeryBoston University School of MedicineBostonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Radiation OncologyUniversity of Washington Medical CenterSeattleUSA
  3. 3.Department of NeurosurgeryUniversity of MarylandBaltimoreUSA
  4. 4.Department of Radiation OncologyUniversity of Maryland Medical CenterBaltimoreUSA

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