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Papers of the Week

2021 Jun 05

Neurosurg Rev

Frameless navigation-guided percutaneous rhizotomy of the trigeminal nerve: an appraisal of the literature.


Pérez-Bovet J, Caro Cardera J L, Rimbau Muñoz J
Neurosurg Rev. 2021 Jun 05.
PMID: 34089414.


Percutaneous rhizotomy is a cornerstone of trigeminal neuralgia treatment. The procedure is classically performed under intermittent fluoroscopic guidance. While frameless navigation has been advanced to overcome potential difficulties and risks of the technique, literature on the subject is limited, and a gap between actual use and published series is likely. We have assessed all available studies of percutaneous rhizotomy of the trigeminal nerve performed under frameless navigation. Technical and clinical data that has been reviewed included clinical outcome, type of navigation employed, type of rhizotomy performed, types and rate of complications, operative time, cannulation time, and cannulation rate. Reports are heterogeneous, and most of these aspects have been inconsistently described. Comparisons with non-guided procedures are mostly indirect. While no obvious disadvantages are apparent when employing navigation, the ability to draw conclusions is nonetheless limited. Navigation appears as an inviting adjunct to trigeminal rhizotomy, but publication of longer, rigorously evaluated series would be welcomed.