The emerging role of gamma knife radiosurgery in the management of glossopharyngeal neuralgia

Alfio Spina, Nicola Boari, Filippo Gagliardi, Michele Bailo, Carlotta Morselli, Sandro Iannaccone, Pietro Mortini

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Glossopharyngeal neuralgia (GPN) represents a rare craniofacial disorder accounting for about 1% of all craniofacial pain syndromes. GPN shares several pathophysiologic and clinical features with the more common trigeminal neuralgia. Medical therapy and microvascular decompression, in case of vascular nerve compression, represented the mainstay of GPN management. Other ablative therapies have been reported to date; however, few data are available because of the rarity of this pain syndrome. Among the ablative procedures, gamma knife radiosurgery (GKRS) has been recently introduced in the management of GPN with good pain control and low complication rates. Authors performed a systematic review of the published literature about GKRS in the management of GPN. Radiosurgical treatment data, pain control and recurrence rate have been analysed and compared. GKRS represented a valuable and effective treatment option for the management of GPN. Pain control and complication rates are better than those reported by other ablative procedures and microvascular decompression; however, future studies should be focused on the long-term efficacy of GKRS.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-38
Number of pages8
JournalNeurosurgical Review
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 14 2019


  • Craniofacial pain
  • Gamma knife
  • Glossopharyngeal neuralgia
  • Radiosurgery

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology


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