Send  your Name and Email Address and receive more info on Foundation and Research info@facingfacialpain.org
   
free social media buttons
   
install Joomla to Inmotion


 

Note:  Dr. Joanna Zakrzewska at the Pain Management Centre, National Hospital for Neurology and Neurosurgery in London, UK is the International Research Coordinator for the Facial Pain Research Foundation.

 She is also a member of the FPRF International Consortium of Scientists.  The FPRF assisted in the funding of the research article printed last month in the Journal of Headache and Pain.  The results of the study clearly indicate that present treatments for TN don’t work well for sufferers….”there remains an unmet need for additional treatment options.

 

RESEARCH ARTICLE                           Open Access

Burden of illness of trigeminal neuralgia

among patients managed in a specialist

center in England

 

 

Lasair O’Callaghan1* , Lysbeth Floden2, Lisa Vinikoor-Imler1, Tara Symonds3, Kathryn Giblin4, Chris Hartford2 and Joanna M. Zakrzewska5,6

 

Abstract

Background: Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) causes severe episodic, unilateral facial pain and is initially treated with antiepileptic medications. For patients not responding or intolerant to medications, surgery is an option.

Methods: In order to expand understanding of the pain-related burden of illness associated with TN, a cross-sectional survey was conducted of patients at a specialist center that utilizes a multidisciplinary care pathway. Participants provided information regarding their pain experience and treatment history, and completed several patient-reported outcome (PRO) measures.

Results: Of 129 respondents, 69/128 (54%; 1 missing) reported no pain in the past 4 weeks. However, 84 (65%) respondents were on medications, including 49 (38%) on monotherapy and 35 (27%) on polytherapy. A proportion of patients had discontinued at least one medication in the past, mostly due to lack of efficacy (n = 62, 48%) and side effects (n = 51, 40%). A total of 52 (40%) patients had undergone surgery, of whom 30 had microvascular decompression (MVD). Although surgery, especially MVD, provided satisfactory pain control in many patients, 29% of post-surgical patients reported complications, 19% had pain worsen or stay the same, 48% were still taking pain medications for TN, and 33% reported new and different facial pain.

Conclusions: In most PRO measures, respondents with current pain interference had poorer scores than those without pain interference. In the Patient Global Impression of Change, 79% expressed improvement since beginning of treatment at this clinic. These results indicate that while the multidisciplinary approach can substantially alleviate the impact of TN, there remains an unmet medical need for additional treatment options.

Keywords: Trigeminal neuralgia, Trigeminal nerve, Facial pain, Microvascular decompression, Multidisciplinary approach, Patient related outcomes

 

Background

Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) is a rare condition that affects the trigeminal nerve, resulting in extreme, sporadic, sudden, electric shock-like unilateral facial pain [1]. The attacks typically last only for a few seconds to a maximum of 2 min and can occur in quick succession with a frequency of 1–

* Correspondence: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

1Biogen, 225 Binney St, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA

Full list of author information is available at the end of the article

 

50/day [2]. These episodes of TN, encompassing the dur­ation of recurrent attacks, can last for periods of days to even months, but can go into periods of remission which can last for months [3]. The condition occurs most frequently in people over 50 years of age, and is more prevalent in women than in men [4]. The intensity and unpredictability of the pain can be physically and mentally incapacitating, and result in a severe burden of illness (BOI) and impaired patient quality of life (QoL) [5, 6]. Further,

 

 

 

© The Author(s). 2020 Open Access This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver (http://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/) applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.

 

O’Callaghan et al. The Journal of Headache and Pain            (2020) 21:130 Page 2 of 10

 

diagnostic delays [7], suboptimal management strategies, complications from treatments, and resistance to treatment may contribute to the disease burden [6].

Recently, TN was classified into 3 categories: classical (primary), in which vascular compression of the nerve with morphological changes in the trigeminal root is observed; secondary, in which major neurologic disease such as mul­tiple sclerosis or tumor of the cerebellopontine angle has been identified; and idiopathic, in which no cause has been found [2, 8].

Primary treatment for TN has been pharmacological therapy, with the antiepileptic drugs (AEDs) carbamazepine and oxcarbazepine being first-line [8]; a range of other AEDs such as lamotrigine pregabalin, gabapentin, pheny-toin, and baclofen are utilized when first-line drugs are inef­fective or contraindicated [8]. However, large claims studies in the USA and smaller studies in Europe show frequent change of medication, suggesting poor efficacy and/or poor tolerability [9–11]. In addition, common side effects of these drugs in the TN population include significant cogni­tive impairment [12]. For patients non-responsive or in­tolerant to medications, surgery may be an option, with microvascular decompression (MVD) regarded as the most effective procedure [8]. Although neurosurgical procedures in selected TN patients can produce excellent results, it is not clear which patients will have good outcomes, as stud­ies that have examined factors contributing to surgical out­comes have been limited [8].

There is considerable evidence that TN has a significant impact on QoL [5, 10, 13]. The natural history of TN has generally been considered progressive, with few remission pe­riods and increasingly longer and more intense relapses grad­ually becoming less responsive to AEDs [14, 15]. However, recent studies suggest that patients managed in specialist cen­ters utilizing a multidisciplinary approach may experience dis­ease stabilization, and even improvement [5, 9, 10, 16, 17].

The current study is a cross-sectional component of a longitudinal survey project, and consists of assessments per­formed at a single timepoint, in a cohort of patients receiv­ing a high level of clinical care at a specialist facility which has been managing TN patients over several years using a multidisciplinary care pathway. The aim of this study was to gain increased insight into the BOI of TN by looking at medication use, surgery, pain experience and quality of life as measured by several PROs, and to determine whether current treatments are meeting patient needs. The well-documented and consistently recorded medical and thera­peutic history of these patients allowed a high level of speci­ficity and accuracy in the analysis of the results.

Methods

Patient recruitment

Patients were recruited for the study in 2018 from a dedi-

cated multidisciplinary facial pain clinic within a London

 

teaching hospital. At this facility, if patients are taking medication(s), reviews are every 6 months on average; pa­tients may be discharged if they are no longer taking med­ications following surgery. This single-site patient population has been managed longitudinally since 2007 in a specialized multidisciplinary team model, with access to physicians, dentists, clinical psychologists, a clinical nurse specialist, a neurologist and 3 neurosurgeons. The multi­disciplinary team follows the hospital-approved guidelines, which are based on published guidelines for TN [18]. Pa­tients at the facility are clinically contacted a minimum of twice yearly, either face to face, or by telephone by a clin­ical nurse specialist [17].

Patients were initially contacted and informed of the study by a member of the multidisciplinary team. Patients who were able to be contacted and were reported to have primary TN were invited to complete the survey. This was the first time they were being asked by the multidisciplin­ary facial pain clinic to complete a survey electronically.

Survey methodology

This cross-sectional survey was deployed using a web-based system. If patients were unwilling or unable to complete the online form, they were offered a paper ver­sion of the survey. The survey included items about pain interference, history and experience of medication use, history and experience of surgery related to TN, and 5 PRO measures. The 5 PRO measures were: 1) The Penn-Facial Pain Scale-Revised (PENN-FPS-R), an instrument to assess patient-reported impact of facial pain, was used to inform pain status and the interference of facial pain with patients’ activities of daily living (ADLs) during the past week, including general activity, walking, work, mood, enjoyment of life, relations with others, and sleep [19]; 2) The Patient Global Impression of Change (PGIC) [20] was used to evaluate patients’ perception of change in health compared to start of treatment; 3) The EQ-5D-5L (Euro-Qol-5 Dimension-5 Level) was used to evaluate health utility using the UK value set and the EQ-VAS (EuroQol Visual Analog Scale) of the EQ-5D-5L was used to evalu­ate global health status on the day of the survey; 4) the Brief Pain Inventory – Short Form (BPI-SF) was used to assess level of pain and general pain interference in the last 24 h [21]; 5) Depression and anxiety over the last week was assessed with the Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale (HADS) [22].

Data analysis

Descriptive analyses were used to report demographic and health information, patient-reported pain experience, treatment history and PRO instrument scores. Stratifica­tions were made based on pain status, current medication use (monotherapy/polytherapy/no current meds), and sur­gery. For the surgical stratification, patients were classified

 

O’Callaghan et al. The Journal of Headache and Pain              (2020) 21:130   Page 3 of 10

 

as (1) “microvascular decompression (MVD) only” if hav­ing one or more MVD procedures but no non-MVD pro­cedures for TN; (2) “Ablative surgery” if having one or more ablative procedures such as gamma knife, radiofre-quency thermocoagulation, including stereotactic radio-surgery, but no MVD procedures; (3) “MVD + ablative surgery” if having procedures of both types, or (4) no sur­gery. Quantitative analyses were performed using SAS software (SAS Institute, Cary, USA).

Results

Study participants and demographics

A cohort of 235 patients were initially screened for the study, of whom 195 (female 124; male 70; 1 missing) were invited to participate. Of them, 21 declined, and 174 pa­tients (female 111; male 63) initially agreed to participate. Patients could either complete an online survey or, if they requested, were sent a paper survey. Ultimately, a total of 129 patients completed and returned usable patient sur­veys, which formed the basis of the analyses (Fig. 1).

Participants had been treated at this clinic for an aver­age of over 6 years, and had an average of over 12 years since their first recorded attack.

Of the respondents, the majority were female (65%), White (88%), married (71%), ≥ 65 years (60%) and retired (56%) (Table 1). The age of respondents ranged from 39 to 85 years; the mean age was 65.7 years; median age was 67 years. Demographic characteristics are reported overall, by current pain experience, current medication use, and surgical history. There were no substantial differences between respondents and non-respondents with regards to mean age; however, among invitees, a higher percent­age of those over 55 years old responded compared to younger patients. The response rate for invitees was 66%

 

(129/195); for those who received the survey, the partici­pation rate was 74% (129/174); 64% (111/174) were fe­male, and of this population 76% (84/111) responded. Overall, 68% (84/124) of female invitees and 64% (45/70) of male invitees participated. The male response rate among survey recipients was 71% (45/63).

Pain prevalence

Among respondents, over half (69/128; 54%) reported that they had not experienced pain in the past 4 weeks. How­ever, only 50 patients scored a zero on the Penn-FPS-R measure, indicating no pain interference. Of the 69 who reported not experiencing pain in the past 4 weeks, 37 (54%) patients were currently not on any medication and 38 (55%) had undergone 1 or more surgical procedures (Table 2). Of those who reported pain episodes in the previous 4 weeks, the most common triggers were movement of the mouth (including talking) (35%), and ADLs (including face touching) (33%), however, just over a quarter (26%) of respondents reported spontan­eous occurrence of pain.

Treatment history

Medications

All patients had taken medication for their TN pain; the most common medications taken by patients were carba-mazepine and oxcarbazepine (Table 3). Other AEDs such as lamotrigine, pregabalin, and gabapentin were the next most frequently used. While some patients reported taking opioids or non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs during the course of their disease, these medications were not prescribed at the specialist center.

Over the course of treatment, patients had taken a mean of 3.7 medications with a range of 1–13 (Table 4).

 

 

 

Fig. 1 Survey Response Results

 

O’Callaghan et al. The Journal of Headache and Pain             (2020) 21:130 Page 4 of 10

Table 1 TN Patient Demographics Stratified by Pain, Medication Use, and Surgical Historya

 

 

 

Total Sample

Pain

 

Medication

 

 

Surgery

 

 

 

Any attacks in past 4 weeks

No attacks in past 4 weeks

Current monotherapy

Current         No current

poly therapy therapy

No surgery

MVD only

Ablative surgery

MVD +
ablative
surgery

Total N                                       129 Age, Continuous (years,%)

59

69

49

35

45

77

30

13

8

Mean (SD)

65.7 (12)

66.2 (11)

65.1 (12)

69.3 (11)

64.8 (11)

62.6 (11)

67.4 (11)

61.5 (11)

69.1 (13)

60.9 (8)

Median (IQR)

67.0 (59,

68.0

67.0

71.0

66.0

64.0

69.0

63.0

71.0

63.5

 

73)

(58, 74)

(60, 72)

(62, 79)

(55, 74)

(57, 71)

(61, 74)

(51, 71)

(65, 82)

(53.5,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

67)

Min/Max

39/85

39/85

41/85

39/85

47/85

41/79

39/85

42/79

44/84

49/70

Age, Categories (n, %)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

35–44

6 (5)

2 (3)

4 (6)

2 (4)

0

4 (8.9)

4 (5.2)

1      (3)

1    (8)

0

45–54

17 (13)

7 (12)

10 (15)

2 (4)

8 (23)

7 (16)

5 (7)

9 (30)

1    (8)

2 (25)

55–64

29 (23)

15 (25)

14 (20)

11 (22)

6 (17)

12 (27)

18 (23)

7 (23)

1    (8)

2 (25)

65+

77 (60)

35 (59)

41 (59)

34 (69)

21 (60)

22 (49)

50 (65)

13 (43)

10 (77)

4 (50)

Gender, n (%)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Female

84 (65)

37 (63)

46 (67)

32 (65)

20 (57)

32 (71)

54 (70)

19 (63)

7 (54)

4 (50)

Male

45 (35)

22 (37)

23 (33)

17 (35)

15 (43)

13 (29)

23 (30)

11 (37)

6 (46)

4 (50)

Race, n (%)
White

113 (88)

51 (86)

61 (88)

42 (86)

30 (86)

41 (91)

66 (86)

27 (90)

12 (92)

7 (88)

Asian/Asian British

8 (6)

3 (5)

5 (7)

5 (10)

1      (3)

2 (4)

7 (9)

1      (3)

0

0

Black/African/

7 (5)

5 (9)

2 (3)

1    (2)

4 (11)

2 (4)

4 (5)

2 (7)

0

1    (13)

Caribbean/Black

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

British

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Other

1    (1)

0

1      (1)

1    (2)

0

0

0

0

1    (8)

0

 

aMissing n = 1 in some pain report and some surgery statistics MVD Microvascular decompression

Current mean medication use per patient was 1.1 medi­cations, with some patients currently taking up to 5 medications. At the time of survey completion, 84/129 (65%) patients were on medication, with 49 (38%) on monotherapy and 35 (27%) on polytherapy of 2 or more medications; 45/129 (35%) were using no medications.

Surgery

A total of 52/129 (40%) patients had undergone a surgical procedure to manage their TN. The median time since last surgery, based on 21 participants for whom these data were available, was about 3 years. The most common sur­gery was MVD (38/52; 73%) with 8 of these patients also having another type of surgery (Table 6). MVD was also the most recent surgery for most patients (33/52).

Table 2 Pain Experience and Medication/Surgery – N(%)

 

Overall patients had a positive post-surgical experi­ence, with 36/52 (69%) of all patients who had sur­gery reporting much better pain relief including 21/52 (40%) reporting complete pain relief (Table 7). Of those who had MVD only, 17/30 (57%) reported 100% pain relief and 22/30 (73%) felt much better. However, among all patients who underwent surgery 7/52 (13%) patients felt no relief. Ten of the 52 (19%) had worsening of pain or no change in pain post-surgery. However, none of the patients reported hav­ing much worse pain after surgery and of those who had surgery, 41 (79%) stated surgery was better than staying on pain medications. When patients were asked about their most recent surgery, 15/52 (29%) of respondents reported complications, the most com­mon of which were cerebrospinal fluid leak, unsteady on

 

 

 

Pain Experience in Past 4 Weeksa

Taking Medication

Not Taking Medication

Had Surgery

No Surgery

None (N = 69)
Yes (n = 59)

32 (46%)

51 (86%)

37 (54%)

8 (14%)

37 (54%)

14 (24%)

31 (45%)

45 (76%)

a1 participant had missing data for surgery

 

 

 

 

 

O’Callaghan et al. The Journal of Headache and Pain              (2020) 21:130 Page 5 of 10

Table 3 History of Specific Medication Use for TN, n (%)

 

 

Medication, (N = 129)

Never
took

Currently taking

Took but stopped within last 6 months

Took but stopped more than 6 months ago

Carbamazepine

18 (14)

30 (23)

5 (4)

76 (59)

Oxcarbazepinea

43 (34)

39 (31)

9 (7)

37 (29)

Gabapentina

71 (56)

8 (6)

0

49 (38)

Pregabalina

92 (72)

11  (9)

2 (2)

23 (18)

Phenytoina

119 (93)

2 (2)

1 (1)

6 (5)

Amitriptylinea

97 (76)

1  (1)

1 (1)

29 (23)

Nortriptylinea

119 (93)

1  (1)

1 (1)

7 (6)

Drug patches or lidocaine cream, spraya

111     (87)

3 (2)

2 (2)

12 (9)

Opioids, eg, morphine, fentanyl patchesa

116 (91)

2 (2)

1 (1)

9 (7)

Tramadola

114 (89)

2 (2)

2 (2)

10 (8)

NSAIDs for TNb

86 (68)

7 (6)

3 (2)

31 (24)

Lamotriginea

94 (73)

21 (16)

6 (5)

7 (6)

Duloxetinea

124 (97)

2 (2)

0

2 (2)

Botulinum Toxina

127 (99)

1  (1)

0

0

aMissing n = 1; bMissing n = 2

 

 

 

 

 

NSAIDs non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs; TN trigeminal neuralgia

feet, and headache; other complications reported were ringing in the ears, dizziness, and facial weakness.

Pain medications for TN were being taken by 25/52 (48%) who had undergone surgery (Table 6), and 17/ 52 (33%) reported new and different facial pain. Of the 17 patients with new and different facial pain, almost half reported recurring pain within 2 months or less of surgery (n = 8). Even with MVD, 5/38 (13%) required repeat MVD surgery, and all 5 of these patients still had some interference in ADLs as assessed by the Penn-FPS-R.

6-month pain experience

Of 53 respondents who reported pain in the past 6 months, 7 (13%) felt daily pain while 14 (26%) had pain-free periods for months. A total of 39 of these 53 partici­pants had pain in the past 4 weeks (Table 6).

 

Disease impact: PRO measures

Those with current pain interference as assessed by the PENN-FPS-R (77/127, 61%) showed numerically lower (ie, worse) quality of life scores than those reporting no pain interference on the EQ-5D-5L index (0.80, SD = 0.214 ver­sus 0.96, SD = 0.141, respectively). The EQ-VAS showed similar results: those with current pain interference had lower global health scores (65.9, SD = 25.46) than those who did not (82.9, SD = 21.39). Patients who were not on medication and those who had undergone an MVD had numerically better overall outcomes on the PGIC and BPI measures than those who were on medication and those who did not have MVD. Patients with no current pain interference scores also reported numerically better scores on the BPI-SF pain interference scale (2.10, SD = 2.436 versus 0.18, SD = 0. 628). In the PGIC measure, which asked participants if they experienced improvement since starting treatment at this clinic, 79% expressed their

 

Table 4 Historical Medication Use for TN

Current Medication Use

Total                                   Monotherapy                                            Polytherapy*                                            No Current Medication

(N = 129)                            (N = 49)                                            (N = 35)                                            (N = 45)

Number of Medications Taken for TN Ever

Mean (SD)

3.7 (2.2)

3.0 (1.7)

4.8 (2.5)

3.5 (2.10)

Median (IQR)

3.0 (2, 5)

3.0 (2, 4)

5.0 (3, 6)

3.0 (2, 4)

Min-Max

1–13

1–8

2–13

1–12

 

Nearly half of respondents (62/129; 48%) had at some point discontinued a medication due to lack of efficacy and 51/129 (40%) had discontinued due to side effects (Table 5)

 

OCallaghan et al. The Journal of Headache and Pain           (2020) 21:130 Page 6 of 10

 

Table 5 Reasons for Medication Discontinuationa

 

 

 

Number of Patients, n (%)

Total Patients (N)

129

 

Not relieving pain

62

(48)

Changed to a different drug

59

(46)

Difficult side effects

51

(40)

No longer needed (remission)

28

(22)

No longer needed (surgery)

28

(22)

Other reason

21

(16)

aPatients could select more than one reason

 

 

 

condition had very much or much improved with 10 (8%) reporting worsening of their condition. The HADS anxiety and depression scores, on average, were within the normal range (0 to 7) for both those who had experienced pain episodes in the past 4 weeks and those who had not.

A summary of PRO measure results by TN attack fre­quency is shown in Table 8. A summary of PRO meas­ure results for medication and surgical history is included in Supplement 1, Trigeminal Neuralgia PRO Scores Medication and Surgery History.

Discussion

This cross-sectional study, conducted at a specialist facial pain treatment facility, consisted of a subpopulation of pa­tients of an earlier study [6]. The study yielded several key findings. Overall, the results indicate that a multidisciplinary

Table 6 Pain Control by Pain, Medication and Surgical History

 

care pathway can produce substantial benefit in a majority of patients, as evidenced by 79% of patients reporting improve­ment in the PGIC measure since beginning of treatment at this clinic. In addition, the average HADS score at the time of survey was within the normal range; this is encouraging in view of the fact that a prior study of 225 patients at this cen­ter (that included all 129 respondents of this study) was con­ducted at an earlier timepoint, and showed 36% had mild to severe depression and over 50% had anxiety as found on HADS [6]. This apparent reduction in anxiety and depres­sion over time for the survey population is notable, given that a recent epidemiological study showed a rise in anxiety, de­pression and poor sleep after a diagnosis of TN [23].

Even though most patients reported improvement since beginning treatment, the majority were still on medications, with 42% of those individuals on polytherapy. At the time of the survey patients were taking an average of 1.1 medica­tions, however overall treatment history shows patients on average had taken 3.7 drugs for TN, and as many as 13 dif­ferent drugs. During the course of treatment a substantial percentage of patients had discontinued 1 or more medica-tion(s) for various reasons, frequently due to lack of efficacy or tolerability. While polytherapy can yield clinical benefits, it also carries increased risk of AEs and drug interactions [24–26]. A study by Di Stefano et al. [9] found that carba-mazepine and oxcarbazepine, the 2 medications commonly recommended as first-line therapy for TN, produce side ef­fects that can lead to treatment withdrawal. In addition,

 

129

Currently Taking Medicationa 84 (65) 51 (40)                             32 (25)       49 (38)

Not currently taking                         45 (35) 8 (6)                         37 (29)       0

medication to manage pain

Frequency Pattern of Pain experienced in past 6 monthsc; n (%)

N

n = 53

n = 39

n = 14

n = 24

Daily

7 (13)

6 (15)

1

(7)

4

(17)

For days, then I have days or weeks free of TN

17 (32)

10 (26)

7

(50)

5

(21)

For weeks, then I have days or weeks free of TN

4 (8)

4 (10)

0

 

3

(13)

I have months completely free of TN

14 (26)

10 (26)

4

(29)

7

(29)

I have months free of TN attacks but with a dull ache in the background

11      (21)

9 (23)

2

(14)

5

(21)

a1 missing

b1 patient had peripheral cryotherapy before attending specialist center

cOf patients who reported pain experience in past 6 months

35 (27) 0

0

45 (35)

59 (46)

18 (14)

30

10 (8)

20

(16)

9 (7)

4 (3)

6 (5)

2 (2)

n = 18

n = 11

n = 41

n = 6

n = 4

n = 2

3 (17)

NA

4 (10)

2 (33)

NA

1 (50)

6 (33)

6 (55)

13 (32)

2 (33)

2 (50)

0

1 (6)

NA

4 (10)

0

0

0

4 (22)

3 (27)

11      (27)

0

2 (50)

1 (50)

4 (22)

2 (18)

9 (22)

2 (33)

0

0

 

Pain                                 Medication                                        Surgeryb

Item                                         Overall Any attacks No TN in Current                                                 Current                                                 Took                                                                       No                                                 MVD Ablative MVD +

in the past the past monotherapy polytherapy but           surgery only surgery Ablative

4 weeks        4 weeks                      Stopped                      surgery

Current Medication, n (%)

N =      n = 59        n = 69     n = 49           n = 35    n = 45 N = 77 n = n = 13 n = 8

 

OCallaghan et al. The Journal of Headache and Pain              (2020) 21:130   Page 7 of 10

Table 7 Pain Experience by Surgical History

 

 

 

Overall
n = 52a

MVD
n = 30

Ablative surgery
n = 13

MVD + Ablative surgery n = 8

How does the current pain feel now compared to before the surgery? n (%)

 

 

Somewhat worse

6 (12)

4 (14)

1  (8)

1  (13)

Stayed the same

4 (8)

1  (3)

3 (23)

0

Somewhat better

6 (12)

3 (10)

0

3 (38)

Much better

36 (69)

22 (73)

9 (69)

4 (50)

0% Pain Relief

7 (13)

3 (10)

4 (31)

0

100% Pain Relief

21 (40)

17 (57)

2 (15)

2 (25)

Currently taking any medication, n (%)

 

 

 

 

Currently taking monotherapy

8 (15)

2 (7)

6 (46)

0

Currently taking polytherapy

17 (33)

8 (27)

3 (23)

6 (75)

a1 missing: patient had peripheral cryotherapy before attending specialist center

 

one study reported a sizable fraction (as high as 19%) of pa­tients experience an attenuation of the effect of carbamazepine on managing their pain over time [15], though it is not known whether this result is due to natural progression of the condition, development of resistance, or some other factor.

In this study, although surgery, especially MVD, often alleviated pain in many patients, this was not always the case: 10/52 (18%) of respondents reported somewhat worse or same pain post-surgery. Additionally, a proportion of patients required multiple surgeries and several patients experienced complications post-surgery. Further, a sizable percentage of patients continued to use medications after surgery. Also, the long-term outcome of surgery is un­known and can be deduced only from a longitudinal follow-up of this patient population. Published reports have shown that while the short-term success rate of surgery is high, there is a risk of recurrence even when initial outcomes are good, especially over time. In some cases, patients require repeat surgery or return to medications. In a follow-up study of TN patients who had MVD with a median follow-up period of 9.7 years, some patients were found to relapse even though they had immediate post-surgery relief [27]. While recurrence of pain is more likely with ablative procedures than MVD, findings from a prior study that tracked patients who had undergone MVD showed that 16.6% of them experienced a recurrence after MVD at 5 years [28]. In addition, in this survey many pa­tients reported inadequate or no pain relief post-surgery, indicating that there are intractable cases of TN.

It should be noted that the favorable results in this study were obtained at a facility able to provide a very high level of care that consists of the concurrent involvement of healthcare practitioners from multiple disciplines, thor­ough monitoring of patients using established PROs, as well as prompt and thorough pharmacological and surgi­cal interventions; this level of care may not be feasible at

 

all conventional treatment centers [29]. Traditionally, TN has been regarded as a progressive condition that for most patients worsens over time [30, 31]. Even specialist centers not utilizing the multidisciplinary approach may fail to provide adequate care: prior to enrollment, 80% of pa­tients who participated in the earlier study experienced in­adequate disease management [6]. Even though only 40% of patients in the study population had surgery, all patients in the study were offered surgery, which in some centers may only be recommended later in the treatment pathway. Neurologists have suggested that surgical treatments should be reserved for patients with intractable TN and who have used at least 3 drugs in adequate doses [32]. As such, the favorable outcomes seen in this study may not be generalizable to all UK patients with TN.

To the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study to ex­tensively explore the interrelated aspects of pain interfer­ence, treatment history, and patient-reported disease impact in patients who were managed following treatment recommendations of the American Academy of Neur­ology and the European Federation of Neurological Soci­eties [18]. This study’s findings are supported by a study by Heinskou et al. [16], which also showed that a highly specialized center utilizing a multidisciplinary approach achieved improvement in their patients’ disease status. This approach is recommended in the updated guidelines [8]. A recent systematic review of outcomes used in 467 TN studies highlights how few studies report on domains such as physical (n = 46) and emotional functioning (n = 17) and only 35 studies collected data on patient satisfac­tion [33]. This study adds a breadth of information to the relatively limited prior research on these topics. Another strength of this study is that among the eligible patients initially selected for the study, no obvious difference between respondents and non-respondents was observed, indicating low risk of selection bias in the survey cohort. To further reduce bias, data collection was carried out by

 

OCallaghan et al. The Journal of Headache and Pain                     (2020) 21:130    Page 8 of 10

Table 8 PRO Scores by TN Attack Frequency

 

 

Measure

Pain

 

 

Overall

Any attacks in the past 4 weeks

No TN in the past 4 weeks

Penn-FPS-R

n = 127

n = 58

n = 68

Mean (SD)

22.0 (29.5)

39.1 (32.1)

7.6 (16.9)

Median (IQR)

8.0 (0.0, 36.0)

34.0 (10.0, 64.0)

0.0 (0.0, 9.5)

Min/Max

0.0/120.0

0.0/120.0

0.0/89.0

PGIC, n (%)

n = 129

n = 59

n = 69

Very much improved

63 (49)

14 (24)

48 (70)

Much improved

39 (30)

26 (44)

13 (19)

Minimally improved

11 (9)

9 (15)

2 (3)

No change

6 (5)

2 (3)

4 (6)

Minimally worse

1 (1)

0

1 (1)

Much worse

5 (4)

4 (7)

1 (1)

Very much worse

4 (3)

4 (7)

0

BPI-SF (Intensity)

n = 129

n = 59

n = 69

Mean (SD)

1.39 (1.77)

2.62 (1.89)

0.36 (0.67)

Median (IQR)

0.50 (0.0, 2.25)

2.50 (1.0, 4.3)

0.00 (0.0, 0.50)

Min/Max

0.0/7.8

0.0/7.8

0.0/2.5

BPI-SF (Interference)

n = 129

n = 59

n = 69

Mean (SD)

1.05 (1.96)

2.10 (2.44)

0.18 (0.63)

Median (IQR)

0.00 (0.00, 1.14)

1.14 (0.00, 3.86)

0.00 (0.00, 0.00)

Min/Max

0.0/9.7

0.0/9.7

0.0/3.7

EQ-5D-5L -HUI UK weights

n = 129

n = 59

n = 69

Mean (SD)

0.864 (0.2)

0.790 (0.2)

0.927 (0.2)

Median (IQR)

0.939 (0.816, 1.000)

0.841 (0.741, 0.939)

1.000 (0.924, 1.000)

Min/Max

−0.075/1.000

0.049/1.000

−0.075/1.000

EQ-5D-5L-VAS

n = 129

n = 59

n = 69

Mean (SD)

72.6 (25.2)

66.4 (24.3)

77.5 (24.9)

Median (IQR)

81.0 (55.0, 94.0)

70.0 (50.0, 88.0)

90.0 (68.0, 95.0)

Min/Max

10/100

13/100

10/100

HADS Anxiety

n = 128

n = 58

n = 69

Mean (SD)

5.4 (4.3)

6.7 (4.6)

4.3 (3.8)

Median (IQR)

5.0 (2.0, 8.0)

6.0 (4.0, 10.0)

3.0 (1.0, 6.0)

Min/Max

0.0/21.0

0.0/21.0

0.0/15.0

HADS Depression

n = 128

n = 58

n = 69

Mean (SD)

3.7 (3.8)

5.1 (5.4)

2.6 (3.0)

Median (IQR)

2.0 (1.0, 5.0)

4.0 (0.0, 9.0)

1.0 (0.0, 4.0)

Min/Max

0.0/19.0

0.0/19.0

0.0/13.0

 

Note: in some cases component numbers may not add up to total number due to missing data

 

a third party rather than by the care providers at the treat­ment unit, as suggested by Akram et al. [34] Moreover, al­though the results reported above are cross-sectional, these data can be combined with survey data collected at an earlier timepoint from the same clinical cohort to as­sess longitudinal trends.

 

This study has some limitations. The chief limitation is that because TN is an episodic disease, the durability of pain relief is difficult to ascertain from a cross-sectional survey and it is likely to underestimate the impact of TN. Further studies with broader cohorts and data collection at multiple time points could expand upon the results pre­sented above to account for the episodic nature of the

 

OCallaghan et al. The Journal of Headache and Pain                (2020) 21:130    Page 9 of 10

 

disease and to understand the impact of TN in different pa­tient populations. Another limitation is that because this study was conducted at a specialist multidisciplinary facility, data obtained in this study are unlikely to be applicable to the general UK TN patient population. This study also did not capture drug dosage information, and so could not as­sess whether those patients who had undergone surgery and were still taking medications were able to use lower doses post-surgery. Finally, the PGIC asked about change in TN since treatment began at this clinic. Given that par­ticipants had been in treatment for an average of more than 6 years, this long recall period may compromise the reliabil­ity of their responses. The response rate may have been af­fected by patients’ unfamiliarity with completing online surveys and the lack of suitable IT skills.

Conclusions

These results, in conjunction with previously published results [16], indicate that a multidisciplinary care pathway is the desirable approach for all TN patients. However, it may be logistically not achievable, as conventional treat­ment centers may not have the resources to implement this pathway. Additionally, despite the high level of care achievable at these specialized treatment centers, there remains substantial unmet need for pain management among patients with TN. Pharmacological treatments can be effective but can have considerable drawbacks. Further, while surgery is an option when medication is not advis­able or not effective, not all patients are eligible for or will­ing to undergo surgery and even the most effective surgery, MVD, is not successful in all cases. It is crucial that patients are aware of all available options and can change their management plans quickly depending on the status of their TN. The high numbers of current or prior medications, residual pain or complications despite surgi­cal and/or medical interventions, and reduced QoL in those with current pain interference highlights the BOI of TN and the remaining unmet medical need. Thus, these findings support the development of additional treatment options that may result in less drug discontinuation, offer more alternatives to patients unwilling to undergo or ineli­gible for surgery, and be easily administered at conven­tional facilities. Finally, these results suggest a need for more personalization of medication use in order to obtain maximum efficacy and improved tolerability.

Supplementary Information

The online version contains supplementary material available at https://doi. org/10.1186/s10194-020-01198-z.

Additional file 1. TN PRO Scores Medication and Surgery History

Abbreviations

ADLs: Activities of daily living; AED: Antiepileptic drug; BOI: Burden of illness;

BPI-SF: Brief Pain Inventory – Short Form; EQ-5D-5L: EuroQol-5 Dimension-5

 

Level; EQ-VAS: EuroQol Visual Analog Scale; HADS: Hospital Anxiety and Depression Scale; MVD: Microvascular decompression; PENN-FPS-R: Penn-Facial Pain Scale-Revised; PGIC: The Patient Global Impression of Change; QoL: Quality of life; TN: Trigeminal neuralgia

Acknowledgements

Medical writing and editorial assistance under the authors’ guidance was provided by Dr. Amlan RayChaudhury (Clinical Outcomes Solutions, Chicago, USA). Programming assistance was provided by Hailin Yu (Clinical Outcomes Solutions, Chicago, USA).

Authorscontributions

LOC – Led manuscript development. Contributed to design of survey instrument, study design and analysis plan, and interpretation of results. LF – Led analysis planning and execution, contributed to the interpretation of results and manuscript development. LVI – Contributed to design of survey instrument, study design and analysis plan, interpretation of results, and manuscript development. TS – Contributed to study design and analysis plan, interpretation of results, and manuscript development. KG – Contributed to analysis plan, interpretation of results, and manuscript development. CH - Contributed to study design and manuscript development. JZ – Led development of survey instrument. Contributed to study design and analysis plan, interpretation of results, and manuscript development. All authors have reviewed and approved the final version.

Funding

This study was funded by Biogen. JZ undertook this work at UCL/UCLHT which received a proportion of funding from the Department of Health’s National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) Biomedical Research Centre funding scheme. Funding for extracting data from paper records was provided by the Facial Pain Research Foundation.

Availability of data and materials

Patients with TN at a multidisciplinary facial pain clinic within a London teaching hospital were invited to complete a survey developed by the authors. The survey included items about pain interference, history and experience of medication use, history and experience of surgery related to TN, and various PRO measures. The survey data are not publicly available. The actual questionnaire used is available upon request to the authors.

Ethics approval and consent to participate

Full ethics approval for a cohort study was granted by London - South East Research Ethics Committee 07/MRE01138 in June 2007. In December 2017, the ethics committee approved an amendment for the survey to be converted from a paper version into an electronic format.

Consent for publication
Not applicable.

Competing interests

Lisa Vinikoor-Imler and Lasair O’Callaghan are and Kathryn Giblin was em­ployees of Biogen at the time of this manuscript preparation and own stock/ stock options at Biogen. Kathryn Giblin is currently an employee of Sarepta Therapeutics, Inc. Lysbeth Floden, Tara Symonds, and Chris Hartford are em­ployees of Clinical Outcomes Solutions, which received funding from Biogen to conduct the study described here. Joanna Zakrzewska has a consultancy agreement with Biogen.

Author details

1Biogen, 225 Binney St, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA. 2Clinical Outcomes Solutions, 1820 E. River Rd., Suite 220, Tucson, AZ 85718, USA. 3Clinical Outcomes Solutions, Unit 68, Basepoint, Shearway Road, Shearway Business Park, Folkestone, Kent CT19 4RH, UK. 4Formerly Biogen, 225 Binney St, Cambridge, MA 02142, USA. 5Royal National ENT & Eastman Dental Hospitals, 4th Floor Central, 250 Euston Road, London NW1 2PQ, UK. 6UCLH NHS Foundation Trust, Oral theme of the UCL/UCLH NIHR Biomedical Research Centre UK, London, UK.

 

OCallaghan et al. The Journal of Headache and Pain             (2020) 21:130    Page 10 of 10

 

Received: 1 September 2020 Accepted: 29 October 2020

References

  1. Silva M, Ouanounou A (2020) Trigeminal neuralgia: etiology, diagnosis, and treatment. SN Comprehensive Clin Med:1–8
  2. Cruccu G, Finnerup NB, Jensen TS, Scholz J, Sindou M, Svensson P et al (2016) Trigeminal neuralgia: new classification and diagnostic grading for practice and research. Neurology. 87(2):220–228
  3. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. Trigeminal Neuralgia Information Page. Available at https://www.ninds.nih.gov/Disorders/ All-Disorders/Trigeminal-Neuralgia-Information-Page. Accessed 14 Mar 2020 [
  4. De Toledo IP, Conti Reus J, Fernandes M, Porporatti AL, Peres MA, Takaschima A et al (2016) Prevalence of trigeminal neuralgia: a systematic review. J Am Dent Assoc 147(7):570–576 e2
  5. Melek LN, Devine M, Renton T (2018) The psychosocial impact of orofacial pain in trigeminal neuralgia patients: a systematic review. Int J Oral Maxillofac Surg 47(7):869–878
  6. Zakrzewska JM, Wu J, Mon-Williams M, Phillips N, Pavitt SH (2017) Evaluating the impact of trigeminal neuralgia. Pain. 158(6):1166–1174
  7. Antonaci F, Arceri S, Rakusa M, Mitsikostas D, Milanov I, Todorov V et al (2020) Pitfals in recognition and management of trigeminal neuralgia. J Headache Pain 21(1):1–8
  8. Bendtsen L, Zakrzewska JM, Abbott J, Braschinsky M, Di Stefano G, Donnet A et al (2019) European academy of neurology guideline on trigeminal neuralgia. Eur J Neurol 26(6):831–849
  9. Di Stefano G, La Cesa S, Truini A, Cruccu G (2014) Natural history and outcome of 200 outpatients with classical trigeminal neuralgia treated with carbamazepine or oxcarbazepine in a tertiary Centre for neuropathic pain. J Headache Pain. 15:34
  10. Heinskou T, Maarbjerg S, Rochat P, Wolfram F, Jensen RH, Bendtsen L (2015) Trigeminal neuralgia--a coherent cross-specialty management program. J Headache Pain 16:66
  11. Zakrzewska JM, Wu N, Lee JYK, Werneburg B, Hoffman D, Liu Y (2018) Characterizing treatment utilization patterns for trigeminal neuralgia in the United States. Clin J Pain 34(8):691–699
  12. Tentolouris-Piperas V, Lee G, Reading J, O'Keeffe AG, Zakrzewska JM, Cregg R (2018) Adverse effects of anti-epileptics in trigeminal neuralgiform pain. Acta Neurol Scand 137(6):566–574
  13. Spina A, Mortini P, Alemanno F, Houdayer E, Iannaccone S (2017) Trigeminal neuralgia: toward a multimodal approach. World Neurosurg 103:220–230
  14. Katusic S, Williams DB, Beard CM, Bergstralh EJ, Kurland LT (1991) Epidemiology and clinical features of idiopathic trigeminal neuralgia and glossopharyngeal neuralgia: similarities and differences, Rochester, Minnesota, 1945-1984. Neuroepidemiology. 10(5–6):276–281
  15. Taylor JC, Brauer S, Espir ML (1981) Long-term treatment of trigeminal neuralgia with carbamazepine. Postgrad Med J 57(663):16–18
  16. Heinskou TB, Maarbjerg S, Wolfram F, Rochat P, Brennum J, Olesen J et al (2019) Favourable prognosis of trigeminal neuralgia when enrolled in a multidisciplinary management program - a two-year prospective real-life study. J Headache Pain. 20(1):23
  17. Ghiai A, Mohamed T-Y, Hussain M, Hayes E, Zakrzewska JM (2019) The role of a clinical nurse specialist in managing patients with trigeminal neuralgia. Br J Pain 2049463719892027
  18. Gronseth G, Cruccu G, Alksne J, Argoff C, Brainin M, Burchiel K et al (2008) Practice parameter: the diagnostic evaluation and treatment of trigeminal neuralgia (an evidence-based review): report of the quality standards Subcommittee of the American Academy of neurology and the European Federation of Neurological Societies. Neurology. 71(15):1183–1190
  19. Symonds T, Randall JA, Hoffman DL, Zakrzewska JM, Gehringer W, Lee JY (2018) Measuring the impact of trigeminal neuralgia pain: the Penn facial pain scale-revised. J Pain Res 11:1067–1073
  20. Fischer D, Stewart AL, Bloch DA, Lorig K, Laurent D, Holman H (1999) Capturing the patient's view of change as a clinical outcome measure. JAMA. 282(12):1157–1162
  21. Sandhu SK, Halpern CH, Vakhshori V, Mirsaeedi-Farahani K, Farrar JT, Lee JY (2015) Brief pain inventory--facial minimum clinically important difference. J Neurosurg 122(1):180–190
  22. Zigmond AS, Snaith RP (1983) The hospital anxiety and depression scale. Acta Psychiatr Scand 67(6):361–370


 

 

.

 

 

   

Copyright © 2021 The Facial Pain Research Foundation. All Rights Reserved.
Joomla! is Free Software released under the GNU General Public License.
Marocjoomla