Microvascular decompression for glossopharyngeal neuralgia: long-term effectiveness and complication avoidance.

Journal Article (Journal Article)


To establish the long-term safety, efficacy, and durability of microvascular decompression (MVD) for the treatment of glossopharyngeal neuralgia, this study presents the immediate (<6 mo) postoperative and long-term results of a large series of 47 patients with treated with MVD.


Operative reports and hospital charts were analyzed to collect demographic information, clinical presentation, and surgical findings. Surgical results and complications were ascertained by direct patient contact or by contact with the patient's family or physician if the patient was dead. Long-term (>10 yr) personal follow-up was available for 29 of 47 patients.


Forty-six (98%) of 47 patients experienced complete relief of pain immediately after MVD. Long-term follow-up was available for 29 of these 47 patients (range, 125-211 mo; median, 152 mo, or 12.7 yr), and 28 of these 29 patients continued to be pain-free. Permanent neurological deficits (>6 mo) attributed to the surgery were observed in 5 (11%) of 47 patients. Of these patients, 4 of 5 had mild hoarseness or dysphagia or both, and one had a Grade II/VI facial nerve paresis.


This study demonstrates that MVD is a safe, effective, and durable surgical procedure for producing prolonged pain relief in patients with medically intractable glossopharyngeal neuralgia.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Sampson, JH; Grossi, PM; Asaoka, K; Fukushima, T

Published Date

  • April 2004

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 54 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 884 - 889

PubMed ID

  • 15046654

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1524-4040

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0148-396X

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1227/01.neu.0000114142.98655.cc


  • eng