Efficacy of Gamma Knife radiosurgery in the management of multiple sclerosis-related trigeminal neuralgia: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Neurosurg Rev. 2021 Feb 20. doi: 10.1007/s10143-021-01507-3. Online ahead of print.


Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is the most frequent craniofacial pain condition, which commonly affects patients suffering from multiple sclerosis (MS). Stereotactic radiosurgery, especially Gamma Knife radiosurgery (GKRS), represents a safe and effective treatment for TN, and it has been adopted also for MS-TN, with a lower success rate. Therefore, we aimed to analyze the outcome of GKRS for MS-TN. PubMed, Web of Science, and Google Scholar and the reference list of relevant articles were searched for GKRS in MS-TN. Two investigators independently identified the articles, assessed the study quality, and extracted the data. Endpoints of interest were initial pain responders, successful treatments at the end of follow-up, and factors influencing the outcome. Data analyses were performed using R software. Twelve articles involving 646 patients met our inclusion criteria. Pooled proportion of patients who experienced an initial response to GKRS treatment was 83% (CI 74-90%). The cumulative proportion of successful treatments at the end of follow-up was 47% (CI 33-60%). No variables were found to have a significant contribution to heterogeneity regarding the initial response outcome. The only variable significantly explaining the heterogeneity found in the proportion of successful treatments was the length of the follow-up, with a negative b coefficient (- 0.0051, p value = 0.0047). Regarding the efficacy of GKRS in MS-TN, the initial pain response rate was 83%, which dramatically decreases to 47% during follow-up. GKRS still represents a valuable option for MS-TN; however, its long-term efficacy should be always considered.

PMID:33611721 | DOI:10.1007/s10143-021-01507-3