Pulsed radiofrequency V2 treatment and intranasal sphenopalatine ganglion block: a combination therapy for atypical trigeminal neuralgia.

Michelle Nguyen, Denise Wilkes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

18 Scopus citations


Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is a chronic condition affecting the fifth cranial nerve and resulting in sporadic intense burning and shock-like pain lasting for seconds to minutes that can be incapacitating to patients. Atypical TN includes additional features such as continuous pain and sensory disturbances in the area innervated by one or more branches of the trigeminal nerve. Documented cases of TN have dated back to the 18th century. Today, there are roughly 140,000 people suffering with this condition in the U.S.A. Conventional treatments for this disorder include medical management with nonconvulsants such as carbamazepine, which decrease the nerves response to peripheral stimulation. These agents have good initial pain relief, but relief rates fall off dramatically over the long-term. Recently, methadone has shown promise as a pharmacologic adjunct to patients with intractable neuropathic noncancer pain, including patients suffering from TN. Cases refractory to medical management can be treated with surgical microdecompression or minimally invasive procedures such as radiofrequency (RF) treatment. Pulsed RF (PRF) is a method gaining interest as it is delivered in pulses, allowing adequate time for dissipation of heat and energy resulting in less damage to surrounding structures. This case report describes the successful treatment of atypical V2 TN refractive to medical management requiring PRF treatment, a sphenopalatine block series, and low-dose methadone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)370-374
Number of pages5
JournalPain practice : the official journal of World Institute of Pain
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2010
Externally publishedYes


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

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