Introduction: The objective of this study was to determine the long-term efficacy of percutaneous glycerol rhizolysis of the trigeminal ganglion for treating patients with trigeminal neuralgia and search for predictors associated with (long-term) benefit to improve patient selection. Methods: A retrospective study in 60 consecutive patients treated with percutaneous glycerol rhizolysis of the trigeminal ganglion for trigeminal neuralgia. Charts were reviewed in combination with follow-up by questionnaire (n = 55, 92% response). Results: Initial pain relief was achieved in 92% of the patients. Pain-free survival was 59% of the patients at 12 months and 53% at 24 months. Most common side effects were hypesthesia (15%), dry eye (5%), and meningitis (2%). In patients without involvement of the third branch of the trigeminal nerve, the initial effect was 79%, of which 90% achieved more than 2 years pain-free survival, compared with 97% initial effect and less than 40% pain-free survival of more than 2 years when the third trigeminal branch was involved. Discussion: The present study demonstrates that involvement of the third branch is a negative predictor for long-term outcome in percutaneous glycerol rhizolysis of the trigeminal ganglion in patients with classical trigeminal neuralgia. However, in the absence of third-branch involvement, glycerol rhizolysis yields excellent long-term results when initial positive effect is obtained.

Glycerol, Predictors, Prognosis, Retrogasserian glycerol rhizolysis, Trigeminal neuralgia, V3 division,
Pain Practice
Department of Anesthesiology

Koning, M.V, Koning, N.J, & Koning, H.M. (2015). Reduced Effect of Percutaneous Retrogasserian Glycerol Rhizolysis in Trigeminal Neuralgia Affecting the Third Branch. Pain Practice, 15(3), 217–222. doi:10.1111/papr.12175