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Prevalence of trigeminal neuralgia in multiple sclerosis: A systematic review and meta-analysis

Published:December 28, 2021DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.msard.2021.103472

      Highlights

      • The pooled prevalence of TN among 30,348 MS patients from 19 eligible studies was estimated as 3.4%.
      • The prevalence of TN among patients with MS ranged from 0.1% to 9.7% in the studies.
      • The pooled prevalence of TN in male and female patients across 9 surveys were 2.4% (95% CI: 0.5%–5.4%) and 3.8% (95% CI: 0.8%–8.7%), respectively.

      Abstract

      Background

      The prevalence of Trigeminal Neuralgia (TN) in patients diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS) is insufficiently understood and controversially reported. This study focused on providing a better understanding of the prevalence of TN in MS patients.

      Method

      We systematically searched PubMed, Scopus, EMBASE, Web of Science, and Google Scholar to identify studies published from January 1, 1990, to December 30, 2020. We included studies reporting the TN prevalence among MS patients and exclude case reports/series and editorial studies, review studies, and non-English written articles. We used pooled prevalence estimates to determine the TN prevalence among MS patients.

      Results

      Pooled overall TN prevalence among 19 studies and 30,348 MS patients was estimated as 3.4% (95% CI: 1.5%–5.9%) with a high level of heterogeneity among studies (I2=98.92%; p<0.001). The pooled prevalence of TN in male and female patients across 9 surveys was 2.4% (95% CI: 0.5%–5.4%) and 3.8% (95% CI: 0.8%–8.7%), respectively. No heterogeneity between the two groups was observed (p = 0.558). A meta-regression was performed to explore the source of the heterogeneity. None of the candidate covariates, including the year of a study publication, the sample size, the average age of patients, and the disease duration, were significant in the model.

      Conclusion

      Our results showed that TN is a common problem among patients with MS, predominantly male patients. Future studies should target the general prevalence of pain in MS patients.

      Keywords

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