Document Type : Short Communication


1 Assistant Professor, Department of Neurosurgery, Postgraduate Medical Institute, Lady Reading Hospital, Peshawar, Pakistan.

2 MBBS, Department of Neurosurgery, Postgraduate Medical Institute, Lady Reading Hospital, Peshawar, Pakistan.


Introduction Trigeminal neuralgia is one of the most unbearable pain syndromes in one or more branches of trigeminal nerve. The basic pathology is still poorly understood 1. Two divergent view points, central versus peripheral have been presented to explain the possible mechanism 2. In spite of numerous favorable reports, the neurovascular conflict theory remains contra-vertical 3. Nevertheless, whether or not, neurovascular compression is accessory or predominant in the mechanism of trigeminal neuralgia is not yet determined. Although neurovascular compression and global atrophy of the root, a focal arachnoid thickening and angulated root on crossing over the petrous ridge have been observed. Yet, neurovascular conflict has made responsible as the main cause of this neuralgia 4. This lead to focal demylination of the nerve due to its pulsatile compression. Demylination result in short circuiting of neuronal flow and hence trigeminal neuralgia 5.      Present study was therefore designed as to appreciate neurovascular conflict as causative agent in idiopathic trigeminal neuralgia. Material and Methods This prospective observational study was conducted in department of Neurosurgery Government Lady Reading Hospital Peshawar where microvascular decompression is performed as a primary procedure of choice for patients with trigeminal neuralgia. The duration of this study was from May 2003 – to June 2007. Total number of patients operated was 86. Drug resistant cases of trigeminal neuralgia that were   willing for operation was selected and proper clinical record was documented. MRI was done in all patients to exclude secondary causes of trigeminal Neuralgia. Under general Anesthesia in lateral position, small 2.5x2.5cm retro-mastoid craniotomy was performed. All these cases were operated by one surgeon with a team of associate’s doctors. Microscopic per-operative anatomical findings were recorded. Any possible per-operative complications were also documented.