High-Dose Frameless Stereotactic Radiosurgery for Trigeminal Neuralgia: A Single-Institution Experience and Systematic Review

Nicole M. De La Peña, Rohin Singh, Megan L. Anderson, Stefan W. Koester, Terence T. Sio, Jonathan B. Ashman, Sujay A. Vora, Naresh P. Patel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: Stereotactic radiosurgery is an effective treatment option for trigeminal neuralgia (TN), with frameless stereotactic radiosurgery (fSRS) allowing for a less invasive experience. A single-institutional series and systematic review of the literature were performed for cases of TN treated with fSRS. Methods: Patients at our institution with TN that were treated with fSRS from the years 2012–2021 were included. Similarly, multiple databases were searched for studies regarding TN treated with fSRS where patient-level data was included from 2004–2020. Pain levels, via the Barrow Neurological Institute (BNI) scale, before and after treatment were analyzed. Pooled analysis was performed to compare treatment outcomes between studies using CyberKnife and LINAC modalities. Results: Twenty-three patients at our institution were treated with LINAC fSRS (median treatment dose: 85 Gy). Most patients had TN refractory to previous procedural treatments. Eight (35%) patients had an excellent posttreatment response (BNI I-II), while 11 (48%) patients had a good result (BNI IIIa/b). Eight patients had recurrence of pain. A total of 30 articles were included in the systematic review, encompassing 1705 patients. At last follow-up, 63.1% (774/1227) of patients endorsed an excellent response, while 16.1% (197/1227) had a good response, and 22.5% (215/957) of patients had recurrence. Pain response, facial numbness rates, and pain recurrence rates were not significantly different between CyberKnife and LINAC modalities. Conclusions: Frameless SRS for TN appears to be an efficacious noninvasive option for patients with substantial comorbidities, who have failed other treatment methods, although it can be limited by higher recurrence rates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e432-e443
JournalWorld neurosurgery
StatePublished - Nov 2022


  • Frameless stereotactic radiosurgery
  • Linear accelerator
  • Pain response
  • Treatment outcome
  • Trigeminal neuralgia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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