Post-traumatic trigeminal neuropathy: correlation between objective and subjective assessments and a prediction model for neurosensory recovery
Background: Post-traumatic trigeminal neuropathy (PTN) can have a substantial effect on patient well-being. However, the relation between the neuropathic symptoms and their effect on psychosocial functioning remains a matter of debate. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the association between objective and subjective assessments of neurosensory function in PTN and predict neurosensory outcome using baseline measurementsMethods: This prospective observational cohort study included
... udy included patients diagnosed with PTN at the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, University Hospital Leuven, Belgium, between April 2018 and May 2020. Standardized objective and subjective neurosensory examinations were recorded simultaneously on multiple occasions during the follow-up period. Correlation analyses and principal component analysis were conducted, and a prediction model of neurosensory recovery was developed. Results: Quality of life correlated significantly (P < 0.05) with percentage of affected dermatome (r = -0.35), the presence of brush stroke allodynia (r = -0.24), gain-of-function sensory phenotype (r = -0.41), Medical Research Council Scale (r = 0.36), and Sunderland classification (r = -0.21). Quality of life was not significantly correlated (P > 0.05) with directional discrimination, stimulus localization, two-point discrimination, or sensory loss-of-function. The prediction model showed a negative predictive value for neurosensory recovery after 6 months of 87%Conclusions: We found a strong correlation of subjective well-being with the presence of brush stroke allodynia, thermal and/or mechanical hyperesthesia, and the size of the neuropathic area. These results suggest that positive symptoms dominate the effect on affect. In patients reporting poor subjective well-being in the absence of positive symptoms or a large neuropathic area, additional attention towards psychosocial triggers might enhance treatment outcome. The prediction model could contribute to establishing realistic expectations about the likelihood of neurosensory recovery but remains to be validated in future studies.