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Papers of the Week

2022 Dec 08

Neurosurg Rev



Clinical outcome after microvascular decompression for trigeminal neuralgia: a systematic review and meta-analysis.



Microvascular decompression (MVD) is considered an effective treatment for trigeminal neuralgia (TN). However, the anatomical and clinical variables associated with a better outcome are not fully examined. The authors performed a systematic review and meta-analysis of the literature investigating the immediate and long-term clinical results of MVD for TN, and the impact of the anatomical features of the neurovascular conflict on the outcome. The systematic search of three databases was performed for studies published between January 1990 and November 2021. PRISMA guidelines were followed. Random-effects meta-analysis was used to pool the analyzed outcomes, and random-effect meta-regression was used to examine the association between the effect size and potential confounders. A funnel plot followed by Egger's linear regression was used to test publication bias. A total of 9 studies were included in this analysis, including 2102 patients with trigeminal neuralgia. The immediate post-operative rate of BNI I was 82.9%, whereas surgical failure (BNI IV-V) was reported in approximately 2.6% of patients. CSF leak was the most common postoperative complication (2.4%). The rate of BNI I at last follow up was 64.7% (p < 0.01), showing a significant negative correlation after multiple meta-regression with the rate of patients with isolated venous conflict (p < 0.01). On the other hand, the evidence of an arterial conflict proved is positive association with a favorable outcome (p < 0.01). At the last follow-up, BNI IV-V was reported in 19.2% (95% CI 8.9-29.5%, p < 0.01, I = 97.3%). This meta-analysis confirms the safety and efficacy of MVD for TN. The occurrence of serious postoperative complications is very low. The long-term outcome is associated with the type of vascular structure involved, being pure venous conflict associated with a higher risk of surgical failure. These findings should be considered when planning surgery for patients with TN.