WHILE trigeminal neuralgia is generally considered to be an idiopathic condition, many cases have been shown to be caused by compression of the trigeminal sensory roots by bands of small blood vessels.1 Here we describe digitalis intoxication as another cause of trigeminal neuralgia.
Report of a Case
A 51-year-old man was admitted to the hospital because of congestive heart failure and facial pains. He had a long history of coronary artery disease, including six myocardial infarctions since 1967. Heart failure and intermittent atrial fibrillation prompted several admissions for cardioversion. He was treated with digoxin, 0.25 mg daily, in addition to quinidine, warfarin, furosemide, and isosorbide dinitrate. During the month prior to admission, he had taken digoxin, 0.25 mg, alternating daily with 0.375 mg.Two weeks prior to admission, he noted the gradual onset of attacks of new facial pain that began suddenly with boring pain in the right temple