Differential Diagnosis of Trigeminal Neuralgia

  • Deepa Dash


Trigeminal Neuralgia (TGN) is an important cause of facial pain and prevalence studies have shown that 0.07% of population may be afflicted with this disorder [1, 2]. The diagnosis of TGN is heavily dependent on clinical history provided by the patients. A detailed examination face and mouth helps ruling out different causes of facial pain. TGN is characterized by recurrent attacks of lancinating pain in the distribution of trigeminal nerve. The pain usually gets triggered by talking, chewing, brushing, shaving, a light touch or sometimes even a gentle breeze. It is unilateral most of the times and may occur repeatedly throughout the day. In classical TGN, no cause is identified other than neurovascular compression (NVC) whereas the symptomatic TGN may have an underlying cause. TGN may involve one or more branches of the trigeminal nerve, with the maxillary branch involved the most often and the ophthalmic branch the least. The diagnosis is usually clinical, hence, the history of presentation is critical for the evaluation of these patients (Table 1).


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Singapore Pte Ltd. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Deepa Dash
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of NeurologyAll India Institute of Medical Sciences (AIIMS)New DelhiIndia

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