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Radiofrequency Thermocoagulation Through the Foramen Rotundum Versus the Foramen Ovale for V2 Primary Trigeminal Neuralgia: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Pain Physician. 2023 Oct;26(6):E627-E633.


BACKGROUND: Percutaneous radiofrequency thermocoagulation (RFT) through the foramen rotundum (FR) is a new approach for the treatment of V2 trigeminal neuralgia (TN). Some studies have shown the novel method seems to have advantages over traditional RFT through the foramen ovale (FO). The optimal interventional surgical strategy for isolated V2 TN remains controversial.

OBJECTIVES: The purpose of our study was to perform a systematic review and meta-analysis to evaluate the clinical results of RFT through the FR and the traditional FO puncture approach.

STUDY DESIGN: A systematic review of randomized controlled trials for thermocoagulation through the foramen rotundum versus the foramen ovale for V2 primary trigeminal neuralgia.

METHODS: Randomized controlled trials or nonrandomized controlled trials published from January 2000 through October 2022 that compared RFT through the FR and the FO for V2 primary TN were found through a comprehensive search in 3 electronic databases (PubMed, EMBASE, Cochrane library). A total of 3 studies (105 patients) were included in this systematic review and meta-analysis.

RESULTS: The results indicate that there are no statistically significant differences between the FR group and the FO group in terms of postoperative immediate effect rate (postoperative one week) (P > 0.1; standardized mean difference [SMD] = 0.67 [0.26- 1.71]) and recurrence rate (P > 0.1; SMD = 0.67 [0.26 – 1.71]). The long-term effect rate (postoperative one year) was significantly higher in the FR group (P < 0.05; SMD = 0.12 [0.01 – 0.22]). The FO group had a significantly higher total complication rate compared with the FR group (P < 0.01; SMD = 0.12 [0.03 – 0.53]).

LIMITATIONS: The limitations of this systematic review and meta-analysis include the small range of study populations. Heterogeneity caused by inconsistent follow-up time, outcome measurements, and RF parameters are other limitations.

CONCLUSION: In conclusion, RFT of the maxillary nerve through the FR for the treatment of primary V2 TN had a better long-term effect rate and fewer complications in comparison with thermocoagulation of the Gasserian ganglion through the FO. No differences were found between both interventions in terms of immediate effect rate and recurrence rate.


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