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For further information, see CMDT Part 24-02: Facial Pain

Key Features

  • An uncommon disorder with throat pain similar in quality to that in trigeminal neuralgia

Clinical Findings

  • Pain occurs in the throat, about the tonsillar fossa, and sometimes deep in the ear and at the back of the tongue

  • The pain may be precipitated by swallowing, chewing, talking, or yawning and is sometimes accompanied by syncope


  • In most instances, no underlying structural abnormality is present

  • Microvascular compression of glossopharyngeal nerve may be underlying pathogenesis

  • Multiple sclerosis or other brainstem lesions are sometimes responsible


  • Oxcarbazepine or carbamazepine is the treatment of choice and should be tried before any surgical procedures are considered

  • Microvascular decompression is often effective and is generally preferred over destructive surgical procedures such as partial rhizotomy in medically refractory cases

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