Sphenopalatine ganglion pulsed radiofrequency treatment in patients suffering from chronic face and head pain

Mert Akbas Emel Gunduz Suat Sanli Arif Yegin About the authors

PURPOSE:

There are various facial pain syndromes including trigeminal neuralgia, trigeminal neuropathic pain and atypical facial pain syndromes. Effectiveness of the pulsed radiofrequency in managing various pain syndromes has been clearly demonstrated. There are a limited number of studies on the pulsed radiofrequency treatment for sphenopalatine ganglion in patients suffering from face and head pain. The purpose of this study is to evaluate the satisfaction of pulsed radiofrequency treatment at our patients retrospectively.

METHODS:

Infrazygomatic approach was used for the pulsed radiofrequency of the sphenopalatine ganglion under fluoroscopic guidance. After the tip of the needle reached the target point, 0.25-0.5 ms pulse width was applied for sensory stimulation at frequencies from 50 Hz to 1 V. Paraesthesias were exposed at the roof of the nose at 0.5-0.7 V. To rule out trigeminal contact that led to rhythmic mandibular contraction, motor stimulation at a frequency of 2 Hz was applied. Then, four cycles of pulsed radiofrequency lesioning were performed for 120 s at a temperature of 42 °C.

RESULTS:

Pain relief could not be achieved in 23% of the patients (unacceptable), whereas pain was completely relieved in 35% of the patients (excellent) and mild to moderate pain relief could be achieved in 42% of the patients (good) through sphenopalatine ganglion-pulsed radiofrequency treatment.

CONCLUSION:

Pulsed radiofrequency of the sphenopalatine ganglion is effective in treating the patients suffering from intractable chronic facial and head pain as shown by our findings. There is a need for prospective, randomized, controlled trials in order to confirm the efficacy and safety of this new treatment modality in chronic head and face pain.

Sphenopalatine ganglion; Pulsed radiofrequency; Chronic face and head pain


Sociedade Brasileira de Anestesiologia R. Professor Alfredo Gomes, 36, 22251-080 Botafogo RJ Brasil, Tel: +55 21 2537-8100, Fax: +55 21 2537-8188 - Campinas - SP - Brazil
E-mail: bjan@sbahq.org