The trigeminocardiac reflex (TCR) is a complex and, sometimes, fatal event triggered by overstimulation of the trigeminal nerve (TN) and its territorial and spinal cord branches. We reviewed and compiled for the neurosurgeon key aspects of the TCR that include a novel and straightforward classification, as well as morphophysiology, pathophysiology, neuromonitoring and neuromodulation features. Further, we present intraoperative data from a patient who developed extraterritorial, or type IV, TCR while undergoing a cervical surgery. TCR complexity, severity and unwanted outcomes indicate that this event should not be underestimated or overlooked in the surgical room. Timely TCR recognition in surgical settings is valuable for applying effective intraoperative management to prevent catastrophic outcomes.
Cureus (2020) 12(11):e11646
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