What is the Eller classification scheme for trigeminal neuralgia (TN)?

Updated: Jul 11, 2019
  • Author: Manish K Singh, MD; Chief Editor: Robert A Egan, MD  more...
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In an attempt to rationalize the language of facial pain, in 2005, Eller et al introduced a new classification scheme that divides facial pain into several distinct categories [18] :

  • Trigeminal neuralgia type 1 (TN1): The classic form of trigeminal neuralgia in which episodic lancinating pain predominates

  • Trigeminal neuralgia type 2 (TN2): The atypical form of trigeminal neuralgia in which more constant pains (aching, throbbing, burning) predominate

  • Trigeminal neuropathic pain (TNP): Pain that results from incidental or accidental injury to the trigeminal nerve or the brain pathways of the trigeminal system

  • Trigeminal deafferentation pain (TDP): Pain that results from intentional injury to the system in an attempt to treat trigeminal neuralgia (Numbness of the face is a constant part of this syndrome, which has also been referred to as anesthesia dolorosa or one of its variants.)

  • Symptomatic trigeminal neuralgia (STN): Trigeminal neuralgia associated with multiple sclerosis (MS)

  • Postherpetic neuralgia (PHN): Chronic facial pain that results from an outbreak of herpes zoster (shingles), usually in the ophthalmic division (V1) of the trigeminal nerve on the face and usually in elderly patients

  • Geniculate neuralgia (GeN): Pain typified as episodic and lancinating, felt deep in the ear

  • Glossopharyngeal neuralgia (GPN): Pain typified in the tonsillar area or throat, usually triggered by talking or swallowing

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