Reducing orofacial pain and improving function with low-temperature plasma radiofrequency ablation

Takeaway

  • Percutaneous low-temperature plasma radiofrequency ablation (LTP-RFA) was noninferior to radiofrequency thermocoagulation (RFT) treatment for pain relief in patients with idiopathic trigeminal neuralgia, and produced significantly greater improvements in masticatory function at discharge and 6-months later.

Why this matters

  • Idiopathic trigeminal neuralgia is a common cause of intense orofacial pain. Percutaneous RFT has been proven to be an effective treatment, but complications such as facial numbness, have also been associated with RFT.

  • LTP-RFA has been proven effective in the treatment of phantom limb pain, and may reduce thermal damage to the surrounding nerve tissue compared with RFT.

  • This study demonstrated LTP-RFA was non-inferior to RFT for the pain relief and may provide a safer alternative for the management of orofacial pain in patients with idiopathic trigeminal neuralgia.