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Ultrasound-guided glossopharyngeal nerve block via the styloid process for glossopharyngeal neuralgia: a retrospective study

Authors Liu Q, Zhong Q, Tang G, He G

Received 6 May 2019

Accepted for publication 23 July 2019

Published 8 August 2019 Volume 2019:12 Pages 2503—2510


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Michael Schatman

Qian Liu,1,* Qing Zhong,2,* Guoqiang Tang,1,* Guanghong He1

1Department of Anesthesiology, First People’s Hospital, Zigong, Sichuan, People’s Republic of China; 2Department of Anesthesiology, People’s Hospital, Jianyang, Sichuan, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Objective: To examine the effectiveness and safety of ultrasound-guided glossopharyngeal nerve block via the styloid process for primary glossopharyngeal neuralgia.
Methods: This retrospective study included all patients receiving glossopharyngeal nerve block via the styloid process under ultrasound guidance for primary glossopharyngeal neuralgia between January 2015 and May 2018 at our hospital. The primary outcome of the study was pain relief as assessed using the visual analog scale (VAS). Treatment was considered effective if the VAS score decreased by more than 2 points.
Results: Twelve patients were included in the analysis. The baseline VAS scores ranged from 5 to 9. All patients received previous pharmacotherapy. Other previous treatments included pulsed mode radiofrequency (n=4), microvascular decompression (n=2), and glossopharyngeal nerve block (not under ultrasound guidance; n=2). The patients completed a total of 48 injections for glossopharyngeal nerve block. At discharge from the hospital, and at 6, 12, and 18 months thereafter, 10/12, 10/12, 7/12, and 4/12 patients achieved pain relief and the effective rate was 83.3% at discharge, 83.3% at 6 months, 58.3% at 1 year, and 33.3% at 18 months, respectively.
Conclusion: Ultrasound-guided glossopharyngeal nerve block via the styloid process is a safe, radiation-free, repeatable, convenient, and effective treatment. It can provide a treatment option for patients with glossopharyngeal neuralgia.

Keywords: ultrasound, glossopharyngeal neuralgia, styloid process, glossopharyngeal nerve block

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