The trigeminal nerve is the fifth cranial nerve, which transmits facial sensations, and is divided into the ophthalmic, maxillary, and mandibular branches. Damage to this nerve can cause trigeminal neuralgia, a clinical condition that can also present in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). This meta-analysis reviews the clinical cases of trigeminal neuralgia reported in patients with COVID-19 from 2019 to 2022, describes the anatomical mechanism of pain and its radiation and identifies other associated symptoms. We performed a literature search to identify reports of patients with COVID-19 who developed trigeminal neuralgia and examined these cases for prevalence and any identified source of associated ocular pain. Of the relevant studies identified, 638 patients with COVID-19 developed trigeminal neuralgia out of 7561 total COVID-19 cases (8.4 %). Of the 638 cases, 590 (7.8 %) had known causes of ocular pain, while the cause of ocular pain was unknown in 48 cases (0.6 %). Trigeminal neuralgia developed infrequently in patients with COVID-19, and cases with known causes of ocular pain were more common than cases with unknown causes. Understanding the link between COVID-19 and trigeminal neuralgia may lead to preventing further complications and mortality in these patients, as well as improving care for patients with these conditions in the future. Additionally, understanding these new clinical issues can prepare many types of physicians to protect themselves better in the event of a COVID-19 outbreak among medical staff in different departments of hospitals, such as clinics, wards, emergency rooms, and operating theatres.
KEY WORDS: COVID-19; Trigeminal neuralgia; Trigeminal nerve; Ophthalmic pain; Thrombosis.
How to cite this article
AL TALALWAH, W. & AL DORAZI, S. Trigeminal neuralgia in COVID-19: A meta-analysis. Int. J. Odontostomat., 17(1):70-76, 2023.