Acta Neurochirurgica

, Volume 160, Issue 7, pp 1337–1341 | Cite as

Electromagnetic neuronavigation for the percutaneous treatment of trigeminal neuralgia with balloon compression: technical note and cadaveric validation study

  • Anthony Wiggins
  • Megan Lonie
  • Iona Pimentil
  • Nicola Newall
  • Peter Bodkin
  • Asha Venkatesh
Technical Note - Neurosurgical Techniques



Several techniques have been described for the percutaneous treatment of trigeminal neuralgia; however, each has significant drawbacks. We propose a new technique for percutaneous balloon compression of the trigeminal ganglion and distal trigeminal nerve using electromagnetic (EM) neuronavigation.


The procedure was performed in 17 consecutive patients with trigeminal neuralgia. Patients were then followed up with telephone interview. We also performed a cadaveric validation study to further investigate the accuracy of the technique using dye.


Excellent clinical outcomes were achieved with a reduction in the median pain score from 10 out of 10 to 0 out of 10 following the procedure. The cadaveric study also demonstrated a high rate of foramen ovale cannulation.


EM-based targeting of the foramen ovale and balloon inflation within Meckel’s cave is a quick, reproducible and straightforward technique for the percutaneous treatment of trigeminal neuralgia.


Balloon compression Cadaver study Electromagnetic neuronavigation Percutaneous Trigeminal neuralgia 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institution (NHS Grampian) and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. For this type of retrospective study formal consent is not required.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Austria, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of NeurosurgeryAberdeen Royal InfirmaryAberdeenUK
  2. 2.University of AberdeenAberdeenUK

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