Persistent Idiopathic Facial Pain Workup

Updated: Nov 16, 2021
  • Author: Stanley J Krolczyk, DO, RPh; Chief Editor: Robert A Egan, MD  more...
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Approach Considerations

Persistent idiopathic facial pain (PIFP) is a diagnosis of exclusion. All other causes of facial pain (see Presentation) must be excluded (especially those amenable to surgical treatment).

Diagnostic imaging may be helpful. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the brain, with and without gadolinium contrast, is the modality of choice in this setting. Computed tomography (CT) of the brain with contrast has a lower yield than MRI does because it yields poorer resolution of the posterior fossa and cranial nerves.