Linac-based stereotactic radiosurgery for treatment of trigeminal neuralgia.

Bruce J. Gerbi, Patrick D. Higgins, Kwan H. Cho, Walter A. Hall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is a disabling pain condition that has classically been treated using either surgical or medical techniques. Several researchers have shown that stereotactically delivered radiation can be an effective tool in the amelioration of this condition. For these studies, the Gamma Knife was used to deliver the radiation treatment. The target location was designated as the proximal nerve at the root entry zone, and doses greater than 70 Gy to the maximum point in a single fraction were found to be effective in controlling pain in 80% of the patients treated. LINAC-based stereotactic radiosurgery has been notably absent from the treatment of TN, even though it has many similarities to Gamma Knife-based stereotactic radiosurgery. The aim of this paper is to describe our LINAC-based stereotactic technique for treatment of TN. We also compare treatment of TN using our technique to that using the Gamma Knife. We found that a LINAC-based treatment of TN can be accomplished with accuracy comparable to treatments delivered using the Gamma Knife. The dose distributions are essentially equivalent for the two treatment approaches. The LINAC-based system is easy to plan and offers the ability to reduce the involvement of sensitive structures from the treatment fields as well as the Gamma Knife system does. A disadvantage of the LINAC-based system is the time involved for treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)80-92
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of applied clinical medical physics / American College of Medical Physics
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2004


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