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February 1993

Unilateral Reduction of Head Pain and Facial Vasodilatation After Gasserian Ganglion Lesion

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Neurological Sciences, I Division of Neurology (Drs De Marinis and Agnoli) and I Division of Neurosurgery (Drs Fraioli, Esposito, and Gagliardi), "La Sapienza" University, Rome, Italy.

Arch Neurol. 1993;50(2):203-208. doi:10.1001/archneur.1993.00540020079021

• The features of histamine-induced headache and its associated vascular responses were studied in 52 patients with different surgical lesions of the gasserian ganglion and in 12 control subjects. Certain features of headache (eg, intensity, type, and duration) were similar in patients and control subjects. However, the pain was absent on the side of the trigeminal lesion in 26 (50%) of the patients. This unilateral absence of pain was not related to the hypoesthesia that was caused by the operation, and it was associated with a decrease in vascular responses (histamine-induced facial flushing and increase in temperature) on the side operated on. These abnormalities were more prevalent in patients who had undergone thermocoagulation and presented with more severe damage of the trigeminal ganglion than in those who were subjected to trigeminal compression or glycerolization. The trigeminovascular system seems to control headache of a vascular type and associated craniofacial vasodilatation in human subjects.