Neurological Sciences

, Volume 31, Issue 1, pp 23–28 | Cite as

Advanced age as a contraindication to microvascular decompression for drug-resistant trigeminal neuralgia: evidence of prejudice?

  • Paolo Ferroli
  • Francesco Acerbi
  • Massimo Tomei
  • Giovanni Tringali
  • Angelo Franzini
  • Giovanni Broggi
Original Article

Abstract

Due to the alleged higher risk of complications of microvascular decompression for trigeminal neuralgia in elderly we evaluated its age-related results. A retrospective analysis of clinical outcome and complications was performed in 476 patients affected by drug-resistant trigeminal neuralgia who underwent microvascular decompression. As much as 117 patients older than 65 years (Group 1) and 359 under the age of 65 (Group 2) were followed-up for a period of 7–138 months. Pain relief was complete without medication in 84.5% in Group 1. Morbidity included slight trigeminal hypoesthesia in 5.8%; severe hearing loss in 0.9%; CSF leakage in 4.2%; transient diplopia in 3.4%; and posterior fossa subdural hematoma in 0.8% of these patients. Mortality was null. No statistically significant differences were observed between Groups 1 and 2. These findings seem to support the idea that microvascular decompression is not a dangerous surgical procedure in patients over the age of 65 years.

Keywords

Trigeminal neuralgia Microvascular decompression Advanced age 

Notes

Acknowledgment

We thank Dr. Allen Fertziger for his help in revising the manuscript.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paolo Ferroli
    • 1
  • Francesco Acerbi
    • 1
  • Massimo Tomei
    • 1
  • Giovanni Tringali
    • 1
  • Angelo Franzini
    • 1
  • Giovanni Broggi
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NeurosurgeryFondazione IRCCS Istituto Neurologico Carlo BestaMilanItaly

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