Open surgery vs. stereotactic radiosurgery for tumour-related trigeminal neuralgia: A systematic review

Setyo Widi Nugroho, Yodie Anindya, Muhammad Hafif, Bima Andyan Wicaksana, Fitrie Desbassari, Wismaji Sadewo, Sayyid Abdil Hakam Perkasa

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Secondary trigeminal neuralgia is a facial pain in trigeminal nerve dermatome caused by an underlying disease, such as cerebellopontine angle tumours. Treatment options to relieve the pains were surgical tumour resection and stereotactic radiosurgery of the tumour or trigeminal nerve. This study aims to review the efficacy of open surgery and stereotactic radiosurgery and recommend the treatment of choice for secondary trigeminal neuralgia due to cerebellopontine angle tumours. Method: The inclusion criteria were studies covering patients with trigeminal neuralgia associated with cerebellopontine angle tumours that were treated with either open surgery or stereotactic radiosurgery and reported pain outcomes after treatment. Non-English articles or studies with a population of less than five were excluded. We systematically searched studies from PubMed, Ebscohost, and Cochrane Library from inception until December 20, 2021. Several works of literature from manual search were also added. Selected articles were appraised using a critical appraisal tool for prognostic studies. Result: Included articles were 26 retrospective studies and one prospective study comprising 517 patients. Of 127 schwannomas, 226 epidermoids, 154 meningiomas, and ten other tumours, 320 cases received surgical tumour excision with or without MVD, 196 had tumour-targeted radiosurgery, and 22 underwent nerve-targeted radiosurgery. In surgical series, 92.2 % gained pain improvement, 2.8 % were unchanged, and 4.5 % had recurrence; none of the patients had worsened outcomes. In cases treated with tumour-targeted radiosurgery, the improvement rate was 79.1 %, unchanged at 14.3 %, recurrence at 26.5 %, and worse symptoms rate after the intervention was 6.6 %. Six patients with recurrent pain after tumour-targeted radiosurgery received secondary nerve-targeted radiosurgery with improved outcomes. Only one patient in our review underwent primary nerve-targeted radiosurgery, and the result was satisfactory. One study treated 15 patients with a single session of tumour-targeted and nerve-targeted radiosurgery, with an improvement rate of 93.3 % and a recurrence rate of 21.4 %. Conclusion: Open surgery releasing the nerve root from compressive lesions is advocated to be the first-line treatment to gain satisfactory outcomes. Total removal surgery is recommended if possible. Nerve-targeted radiosurgery should be reserved as a secondary treatment for recurrent cases.

Original languageEnglish
Article number107683
JournalClinical Neurology and Neurosurgery
Publication statusPublished - May 2023


  • Cerebellopontine angle tumour
  • Secondary trigeminal neuralgia
  • Stereotactic radiosurgery
  • Surgical tumour resection


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