Abbas Amirjamshidi, Kazem Abbasioun, Farhad Etezadi, Seyed Babak Ghasemi

Surgical Neurology International 2013 4(1):126-126

Background: Systemic hypotension, cardiac dysrhythmia especially bradycardia, apnea, and gastric hypermotility occurring presumably after stimulation of any of the sensory branches of trigeminal nerve are coined as trigeminocardiac reflex (TCR). Neither enough is known about the predisposing factors in relation with the intraoperative occurrence of this life threatening reflex, nor about the exact pathophysiology of its brain stem pathway. Encountering two cases of bradycardia and hypotension during surgery encouraged the authors to: (1) report these two cases and review similar reports in the relevant literature, (2) discuss the suggested mechanisms for such an event, and (3) report the result of a prospective cohort of precisely checked cases in a sister article, to remind the younger neurosurgical community of a possible and bothering even mortal, but avoidable complication in their everyday practice. Case Description: The first case was a 71-year-old male who developed bradycardia and hypotension while packing his large sella tursica with autologous fat after removing a large nonfunctional pituitary adenoma transsphenoidally to prevent cerebrospinal fluid leakage. The changes in his vital signs were detected and controlled rapidly. The second case was a 52-year-old female who underwent right pterional craniotomy for right clinoidal meningioma. She developed severe bradycardia and hypotension after skin closure completed and just when the subgaleal drain was connected to the aspirating bag and negative pressure maintained in the subgaleal region. Both cases could be managed successfully after on time detection of such life threatening complication and proper management. Conclusion: We do not intend only to add two new cases of TCR occurring in the perioperative period in neurosurgical practice, but we wish to raise the question: (a) what could be the predisposing factors for development of such issue for better handling of the problem and (b) stress upon careful continuous mapping of the vital signs during surgery and even till very late after operation.