Background: Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is usually classified into two different categories: idiopathic and secondary. We have investigated the frequency of brainstem pontine lesions in patients with idiopathic TN without multiple sclerosis (MS) or stroke, and their association with herpes zoster (HZ) infection. Methods: Brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies of 28 patients with TN were retrospectively reviewed. Results: We found seven patients with clinical suspicion of HZ infection and pontine T2 hyperintense lesions, associated with nerve atrophy in one case. Fifteen patients had a neurovascular conflict (NVC) without brainstem involvement, two of them associated with trigeminal atrophy, while four patients had only volumetric reduction of the nerve. In all patients MRI findings were ipsilateral to the side of TN. Conclusions: Pontine T2 hyperintensities could be considered as a MRI sign of TN in patients without NVCs. This "trigeminal pontine sign" (TPS) is frequently found in association with herpetic infections.

Can pontine trigeminal T2-hyperintensity suggest herpetic etiology of trigeminal neuralgia?

CARANCI, Ferdinando;
2016-01-01

Abstract

Background: Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is usually classified into two different categories: idiopathic and secondary. We have investigated the frequency of brainstem pontine lesions in patients with idiopathic TN without multiple sclerosis (MS) or stroke, and their association with herpes zoster (HZ) infection. Methods: Brain magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) studies of 28 patients with TN were retrospectively reviewed. Results: We found seven patients with clinical suspicion of HZ infection and pontine T2 hyperintense lesions, associated with nerve atrophy in one case. Fifteen patients had a neurovascular conflict (NVC) without brainstem involvement, two of them associated with trigeminal atrophy, while four patients had only volumetric reduction of the nerve. In all patients MRI findings were ipsilateral to the side of TN. Conclusions: Pontine T2 hyperintensities could be considered as a MRI sign of TN in patients without NVCs. This "trigeminal pontine sign" (TPS) is frequently found in association with herpetic infections.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11695/63709
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