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The Long-Term Outcome of CT-Guided Pulsed Radiofrequency in the Treatment of Idiopathic Glossopharyngeal Neuralgia: A Retrospective Multi-Center Case Series

Authors Jia Y, Shrestha N, Wang X, Wang T, Luo F

Received 26 April 2020

Accepted for publication 18 July 2020

Published 18 August 2020 Volume 2020:13 Pages 2093—2102


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Michael Schatman

Yitong Jia,1,* Niti Shrestha,2,* Xiaodi Wang,2,* Tao Wang,3 Fang Luo2

1Department of Anesthesiology, Xuanwu Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, People’s Republic of China; 2Department of Pain Management, Beijing Tiantan Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, People’s Republic of China; 3Department of Neurosurgery, Beijing Tiantan Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence: Fang Luo
Department of Pain Management, Beijing Tiantan Hospital, Capital Medical University, Beijing, People’s Republic of China

Background: Safer and minimal invasive treatment options with minor side effects are in great demand in the treatment of glossopharyngeal neuralgia (GPN). Pulsed radiofrequency (PRF) is a micro-destructive procedure that could be applied repeatedly without irreversible damage to target tissue. However, few studies have reported the long-term clinical outcomes of PRF in the management of idiopathic GPN patients.
Methods: We retrospectively investigated the efficacy and safety of computed tomography (CT)-guided PRF in the treatment of 30 patients with idiopathic GPN in a multi-center clinical study. Numeric rating scale (NRS) score was used to evaluate pain intensity before and after PRF treatment. The effective rate was defined as the percentage of patients with NRS reduction of more than 50%. Baseline characteristics, surgical records, initial pain relief, time to take effect, long-term outcomes, patient satisfaction using a five-level Likert Scale, the incidence of recurrence as well as subsequent treatment choices, intraoperative and postoperative complications were retrieved from electronic medical records.
Results: A total of 30 idiopathic GPN patients who received PRF under CT-guidance were included in our study and the initial effective rate was 93.3%. The cumulative proportion of patients with satisfactory pain relief survival was 93.3% at 12 months, 89.6% at 24 months, 85.3% at 36 months, 79.6% at 48 months, 73.0% at 60 months and 72 months, and 54.8% at 84 months, 108 months as well as 120 months. No serious morbidity or mortality were observed in any of the cases. The median patient satisfaction in Likert scale rating was 4.0 (IQR, 3.0– 5.0).
Conclusion: According to our results, PRF is an effective and safe therapy for patients with idiopathic GPN. This minimally invasive, micro-destructive, neuro-modulatory technique could be a potential intervention of choice for the treatment of GPN patients who respond poorly to pharmacological treatment.

Keywords: pulsed radiofrequency, idiopathic glossopharyngeal neuralgia, long-term outcome, efficacy, safety, retrospective study

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