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Revista Brasileira de Anestesiologia

Print version ISSN 0034-7094

Abstract

OLIVEIRA, Caio Marcio Barros de; BAAKLINI, Luis Gustavo; ISSY, Adriana Machado  and  SAKATA, Rioko Kimiko. Bilateral trigeminal neuralgia: case report. Rev. Bras. Anestesiol. [online]. 2009, vol.59, n.4, pp. 476-480. ISSN 0034-7094.  http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0034-70942009000400010.

BACKGROUND AND OBJECTIVES: Trigeminal neuralgia is an extremely painful condition characterized by recurrent episodes of sudden, lancinating, shock-like pain lasting from a few seconds to two minutes usually unilateral. It has an annual incidence of approximately 4.3 in 100,000 in the general population and only 3% of those cases present bilateral manifestation. The objective of this report was to describe a rare case of bilateral trigeminal neuralgia. CASE REPORT: A 61 years old housewife from Maranhão, Brazil, married, with a history of hypertension, presented with a six-year history of severe pain in the left V2-V3 regions, lasting 5 to 10 seconds, in the lateral aspect of the nose and mandible, worsening by talking, chewing, and with a decrease in temperature. She had been treated with chlorpromazine (3 mg every eight hours) and carbamazepine (200 mg every eight hours) during six months without improvement. On physical exam, the patient presented thermal and mechanical allodynia in the V2-V3 regions. She was using gabapentin (1,200 mg/day) with partial relief of the pain. The dose of gabapentin was increased to 1,500 mg/day and amitriptyline 12.5 mg at night was added to the therapeutic regimen. The patient evolved with mild and sporadical pain and a reduction in pain severity during 10 months; the dose of gabapentin was progressively reduced to 600 mg/day, and amitriptyline was maintained at 12.5 mg/day. After one year, the patient developed similar pain in the region of the right mandible, which improved with an increase in the dose of gabapentin to 900 mg/day. Head CT and MRI did not show any abnormalities. CONCLUSIONS: Carbamazepine is the first choice for the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia; however, the use of gabapentin as the first pharmacological choice or in cases refractory to conventional therapy has been increasing.

Keywords : DRUGS, Anticonvulsants [carbamazepine]; DRUGS, Anticonvulsants [gabapentin]; PAIN, Chronic [trigeminal neuralgia].

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