Sphenopalatine Ganglion Blocks and implanted stimulators, either laser or electric) require exact placement. This new study shows that 3T MR Images can identify the ganglion which can lead to more accurate invasive treatments of the Sphenopalatine Ganglion.

Invasive treatments should only be considered a last resort due to the ease of repetitive Sphenopalatine Ganglion Blocks (SPG Blocks and the extremely high success rates achieved.

Self-Administration on a daily basis may completely eliminate the need for more invasive treatments in a vast majority of patients.


PUBMED Abstract below.

Surg Radiol Anat. 2017 Dec 22. doi: 10.1007/s00276-017-1960-6. [Epub ahead of print] Depicting the pterygopalatine ganglion on 3 Tesla magnetic resonance images.
Bratbak DF1,2, Folvik M3, Nordgård S4,5, Stovner LJ4,6, Dodick DW4,7, Matharu M8, Tronvik E4,6,9.
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The pterygopalatine ganglion has yet not been identified on medical images in living humans. The primary aim of this study was to evaluate whether the pterygopalatine ganglion could be identified on 3 T MR imaging.

This study was performed on medical images of 20 Caucasian subjects on both sides (n = 40 ganglia) with an exploratory design. 3 T MR images were assessed by two physicians for the presence and size of the pterygopalatine ganglion. The distance from the pterygopalatine ganglion to four bony landmarks was registered from fused MR and CT images. In an equivalence analysis, the distances were compared to those obtained in an anatomical cadaveric study serving as historical controls (n = 50).

A structure assumed to be the pterygopalatine ganglion was identified on MR images in all patients on both sides by both physicians. The mean size was depth 2.1 ± 0.5 mm, width 4.2 ± 1.1 mm and height 5.1 ± 1.4 mm, which is in accordance with formerly published data. Equivalence of the measurements on MR images and the historical controls was established, suggesting that the structure identified on the MR images is the pterygopalatine ganglion.

Our findings suggest that the pterygopalatine ganglion can be detected on 3 T MR images. Identification of the pterygopalatine ganglion may be important for image-guided interventions targeting the pterygopalatine ganglion, and has the potential to increase the efficacy, safety and reliability for these treatments.

Image guidance; MRI; Magnetic resonance; Pterygopalatine ganglion; Sphenopalatine ganglion; Surgical navigation

PMID: 29274037 DOI: 10.1007/s00276-017-1960-6