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January 1957

Permanent Relief of Tic Douloureux by Gasserian Injection of Hot Water

Author Affiliations


From the Department of Neurological Surgery, Jefferson Medical College and Hospital and Wills Eye Hospital.

AMA Arch NeurPsych. 1957;77(1):1-7. doi:10.1001/archneurpsyc.1957.02330310011001

A safe, effective method for injecting the Gasserian ganglion to stop permanently the atrocious face pain of tic douloureux and cancer has long seemed desirable to replace the time-tested but generally considered hazardous technique employing alcohol or other destructive chemical agents. Numerous attempts to control the sharp, stabbing, recurring agonizing pain so characteristic of tic douloureux have been made by using various drugs through their systemic effect; but those that have given some promise of producing permanent relief are not without the danger of causing serious permanent damage to the brain (stilbamidine1,2 [4,4′-stilbenedicarboxamidine] and trichlorethylene3-5 [CHCl-CCl2]). Because of the spontaneous remissive nature of tic douloureux, it has been extremely difficult to evaluate accurately the relief, if any, produced by the many empirical treatments that have been tried. Those patients treated by nonspecific medical methods too frequently become discouraged, despondent, anxious persons who lose confidence in their attending

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