Turkish Journal of Medical Sciences




Background/aim: Morphological differences that can lead the trigeminal nerve to neurovascular conflict and a new solitary pontine lesion are associated with the pathogenesis of trigeminal neuralgia (TN). In this case-control study, we aimed to contribute to the current discussions about the pathogenesis of TN by investigating the anatomical structures that may have an effect on the morphometric parameters of the trigeminal nerve. Materials and methods: This study included 25 patients with TN followed up for pain in the Department of Algology, Faculty of Medicine, and 25 age- and gender-matched controls. We performed morphometric measurements including the length and volume of the trigeminal nerve, cerebellopontine cistern, pons, and posterior fossa in the MRIs of these individuals. Comparative analyses were performed for the mean of the affected and unaffected sides of the TN patients and the right, left, and both sides of the control group. Results: In patients with TN, on the affected side, length and volume of the trigeminal nerve and cerebellopontine cistern volume were found smaller than controls (p < 0.05). Pons volume was higher in patients with TN compared to controls (p < 0.05). The length of the affected nerve was significantly related to prepontine cistern length and cerebellopontine cistern volume (p < 0.05). Conclusion: The cerebellopontine cistern volume has a significant impact on the morphometric characteristics of the trigeminal nerve. Especially, whether the increase in the volume of pons causes a decrease in the volume of cerebellopontine cistern should be clarified with further research.


Trigeminal neuralgia, facial pain, brain stem, anatomy, morphometry

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