A group of researchers in Korea have published findings in the Journal of Clinical Neuroscience which may help doctors predict whether or not microvascular decompression (MVD) surgery will work for individual trigeminal neuralgia (TN) patients.
Researchers looked at MRI images from before surgery and analyzed them alongside data about the level of pain and the surgeons’ findings during surgery. They found that some conditions, like compression on the trigeminal nerve by only a single vessel, were good indications that the patient would see relief after surgery. They also discovered a strong correlation between certain MRI image clues and the likelihood of MVD success. Out of the 141 cases examined, roughly 8% experienced recurrence after 1 year and approximately 17%-31% saw their symptoms return after 5 years. This research may help doctors use MRI scans to predict, on a case-by-case basis, whether MVD surgery will have a long-term, positive effect on any given patient.