Background: Trigeminal neuralgia is a chronic disease characterized by intense facial
pain that is caused by trigeminal nerve affectation. It usually affects adults from 50 years of age,
and is more frequent in women. Additionally, it presents serious psychological effects that often
lead to depression, which is why it is considered highly disabling. The therapeutic approach is
based on the modification of nerve activity through electrical, surgical or chemical stimulation in
specific regions of the nervous system.
Objective: To perform a meta-analysis of the scientific literature related to invasive and non-invasive
electrical neuromodulation of trigeminal neuralgia, in order to assess their effects over pain
and adverse effects.
Methods: A literature search was conducted in 4 databases, followed by a manual search of articles
on invasive or non-invasive electrical neuromodulation to control the pain of trigeminal neuralgia,
including the last 15 years.
Results: Regarding non-invasive methods, clinical trials did not present enough results in order to
perform a meta-analysis. Regarding invasive methods, clinical trials meta-analysis showed no statistical
differences between different treatment methods. In all cases, improvements in patients'
pain were reported, although results regarding adverse effects were variable.
Conclusion: In the treatment of trigeminal neuralgia, the continuous radiofrequency provides better
short and medium-term results, but pulsed radiofrequency shows less adverse effects after treatment,
and has better results in the long-term.