Stereotactic radiosurgery for trigeminal pain secondary to benign skull base tumors

Shota Tanaka, Bruce E. Pollock, Scott L. Stafford, Michael J. Link

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Objective: To assess the outcome of stereotactic radiosurgery (SRS) for patients with benign skull base tumors and trigeminal-related facial pain. Methods: We undertook a retrospective review of 31 consecutive patients (25 women, 6 men) with benign skull base tumors and trigeminal pain who underwent SRS between 1991 and 2008. The tumors included 17 posterior fossa meningiomas, 9 cavernous sinus meningiomas, and 5 trigeminal schwannomas. The median patient age was 62 years (range, 17-81 years). In all cases the tumor was the primary target for SRS. The median follow-up after SRS was 50 months (range, 12-184 months). Results: The actuarial tumor control rate after SRS was 95% at both 3 years and 5 years. Eighteen patients (58%) initially achieved complete resolution of trigeminal pain. Higher maximum dose was associated with initial complete pain resolution on a multivariate analysis. However, 7 patients had recurrent pain during follow-up. At last follow-up, only 7 patients (23%) remained pain-free off medications. Further treatment in addition to medical therapy was required for 6 patients (19%). Conclusion: Although SRS offers excellent radiographic tumor control for benign skull base tumors, durable relief of tumor-related trigeminal pain without medication was noted in only one-fourth of patients at last follow-up.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)371-377
Number of pages7
JournalWorld neurosurgery
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Sep 1 2013


  • Skull base tumor
  • Stereotactic radiosurgery
  • Trigeminal neuralgia
  • Trigeminal neuropathy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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