Pathology of the Trigeminal Nerve

      Imaging of the trigeminal nerve requires a thorough understanding of its anatomy and function, clinical symptoms related to malfunction, and its key pathologies. Because of the nerve's long course from the brainstem nuclei to the peripheral branches, MR imaging and CT studies have to cover a large anatomic area while providing high-resolution images. Although MR imaging has almost completely replaced CT as the diagnostic modality of choice for investigating trigeminal neuropathy, CT still plays a role in the assessment of skull base foramina and facial skeleton. In this article, the clinical, radiologic, and pathologic features of the most common conditions causing trigeminal nerve dysfunction at each specific anatomic level are discussed.

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