Trigeminal neuralgia MRI

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Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) with and without contrast helps to distinguish secondary causes of trigeminal neuralgia from idiopathic form. MRI is considered to be the imaging modality of choice especially in patients younger than 60 years, principally to exclude multiple sclerosis and tumors. MRI can also be performed if a patient presents with atypical features.[1]

These atypical features may include:

  • Abnormal neurological examination
  • Abnormal oral, dental, or ear examination
  • Age younger than 40 years
  • Bilateral symptoms
  • Dizziness or vertigo
  • Hearing loss or abnormality
  • Numbness
  • Pain episodes persisting longer than two minutes
  • Pain outside of trigeminal nerve distribution
  • Visual changes

Similarly Magnetic resonance angiography (MRA) can be performed to lacate neurovascular compression.


  1. "Trigeminal Neuralgia Workup: Approach Considerations, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Magnetic Resonance Angiography".

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