Stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) has evolved as an accepted treatment for medication resistant trigeminal neuralgia. Initial results are very good but follow-up over three to five years shows a gradual return of pain in up to 50% of treated patients, often requiring further treatment. The results with repeat SRS using the isocentric Gamma Knife (GK) (Elekta, Stockholm, Sweden), especially in patients having initially good results, are very similar to the outcomes after the initial treatment although there is an increased risk of residual facial numbness secondary to the additional radiation dose to the trigeminal nerve. However, after 2000, non-isocentric SRS systems began to be used for treating trigeminal neuralgia including the CyberKnife (CK) (Accuray, Sunnyvale, California) as well as various linear accelerator (LINAC) based systems. This report specifically examines a series of recurrent trigeminal cases treated by the same group of physicians with the CK system. Similar doses and locations on the trigeminal nerve and/or the root entry zone were used for both initial and repeat SRS treatment regardless of system used. Although there are numerous series reporting the use of GK for recurrent treatment for recurrent trigeminal neuralgia, there are no series reviewing the results and long-term effectiveness using CK for repeat SRS for recurrent trigeminal pain. We reviewed 23 cases that had initial treatment for trigeminal neuralgia either surgically or with SRS with either the GK or CK and then a later second procedure only with CK. The follow-up after the second CK SRS ranged from three to 13 years found that the results are very similar to the multiple reports in the literature describing second or third SRS treatments with the GK. Results of repeat radiosurgery treatment of recurrent trigeminal neuralgia appear to be independent of the system used and are primarily based on proper target and dose to the trigeminal nerve.
Cureus (2018) 10(5):e2598
Available to all.