What is the role of MRA in the workup of trigeminal neuralgia (TN)?

Updated: Jul 11, 2019
  • Author: Manish K Singh, MD; Chief Editor: Robert A Egan, MD  more...
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Answer

Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) can be useful in locating a vascular compression; however, the sensitivity remains low.

Newer special techniques such as high-resolution, 3-dimensional (3-D) MRA (eg, posteroinferior cerebellar artery compresses the trigeminal root) and 3-D spoiled gradient-recalled imaging have been under study, but thus far no consensus to recommend them has been reached. [24] Overall, however, magnetic resonance studies on neurovascular conflicts have shown great variability in outcomes and techniques, with sensitivities as low as 52% and specificity as low as 29%. Therefore, this type of imaging still cannot be recommended as reliable.


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