"Special MRI" for Trigeminal Neuralgia

Hello all.

I saw my neuro for the 1st time today and he is having me admitted into hospital as a day case for a barrage of testing. One of which he said was a “special MRI” for the TN. I have to go to Walton Centre for this rather than my own hospital.

Does anyone know what this “special MRI” is?

Thanking you
Angela x

I don’t know for sure but one of the causes of TN may be compression of the nerve by an artery or vein. An MRI would show if this was the case.

I was never offered an MRI because I suppose they assumed MS to be the cause.
Its always possible, I guess, to have TN caused by compression AND have MS (Bit of bad luck but not beyond the realm of possibility)

If TN is caused by compression the surgical alternatives are different but it is unusual to go straight to surgical intervention without trying drugs first.


Hi Wendels.

Thanks for that. He told me the scan was to look for nerve compression “or anything else that might be bothering it”. He has put me on carbamezapine (please forgive spelling) to help with the pain. He said that if it was compression then they would be looking along the surgical route if the drugs don’t work. Other tests that he has ordered include some sort of electrical testing on my optic nerve. Will wait and see what happens.

Thanks again. Angela


Can’t answer the MRI question but can help with the electrical testing. I had this done on Friday, for the eyes a single fibre needle is placed in the nerve or muscle in the forehead or around the eye. I had this done at the Walton Centre, and the good news [at least for me] I hardly felt a thing even though the neuro told me it might hurt abit. Sometimes they can even give you the results on the day of the test.

Hope this helps

Helen x

Have you got your results Helen? Ax

No she at first said she would be able to tell me, but then at the end said she needed a bit more time to analyse the graphs. As she was going on holiday this week if I hadn’t heard in two weeks I should ring my Neuro’s secretary. So I will wait and see.

Just wanted to re-assure you that they are not as bad as they might sound, just strangely felt exhausted after oh and a bruise on my forehead

Helen x

Helen, that sounds cool. Will look forward to that one. Hopefully my brain will be transmitting signals on that day! lol