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Trigeminal Neuralgia and Systemic Sclerosis (SSc, scleroderma)

Author: Shelley Ensz. Scleroderma is highly variable. See Types of Scleroderma. Read Disclaimer

Overview of Trigeminal Neuralgia

Pills by Shelley EnszTrigeminal neuralgia is the term used to describe sudden, brief, shocking or stabbing pain in the face. The trigeminal nerve goes to the forehead, eyes, jaws, cheeks and lips. Sometimes this very intense, sporadic pain occurs on just one side of the face. It can be caused by sinus or dental problems, injury, or TMJ disorders. It occurs in about 4% of systemic sclerosis (SSc or scleroderma) patients. (Also see Scleroderma Dental Involvement, What is Scleroderma?, Types of Scleroderma, Systemic Sclerosis and Sjogren's Syndrome)

Trigeminal Neuralgia: Workup. Although rarely indicated, appropriate blood work for rheumatic diseases, such as scleroderma (trigeminal neuropathy is reported in up to 5% of patients with this collagen vascular disease) and systemic lupus erythematosus, should be undertaken in patients with atypical features of facial pain and a systemic presentation of collagen vascular disease. Medscape.

Systemic sclerosis - scleroderma. Trigeminal neuralgia is found in about 4% of systemic sclerosis (SSc) patients; carpal tunnel syndrome occurs in 3% of them. Dermatology Online Journal.

Trigeminal neuralgia (TN—tic douloureux) is a disorder of the fifth cranial (trigeminal) nerve that causes episodes of intense, stabbing, electric shock-like pain in the areas of the face where the branches of the nerve are distributed - lips, eyes, nose, scalp, forehead, upper jaw, and lower jaw. Trigeminal Neuralgia Association.

Case Report: Facial solitary morphea profunda presenting with painful trigeminal neuropathy. This is the first case of solitary morphea profunda associated with painful trigeminal neuropathy. PubMed, Cephalalgia. (Also see Linear)

Trigeminal neuralgia (TN) in systemic sclerosis. This study provides novel evidence for a clinical association linking TN, inflammatory myositis, inflammatory arthritis and possibly interstitial lung disease. PubMed, Semin Arthritis Rheum, 2021 Jan 7;51(1):318-323.

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