Forty-eight patients with PHN of the ophthalmic branch were recruited between August 2014 and February 2017 from the Department of Pain Management, the Second Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University. Inclusion criteria were diagnosis of classic PHN of the ophthalmic branch. Patients experienced lancinating or burning pain, paresthesia, or pruritus for over three months. All patients reported moderate to most intense pain (>5) on a visual analogue score (VAS), ranging from 0 (no pain) to 10 (the most intense pain). Ten patients had facial numbness, decreased corneal reflex, or visual impairment on the symptomatic side. Anticonvulsants such as pregabalin 75 mg q12 h were used to treat lancinating pain, while tramadol 100 mg q12 h and a tricyclic antidepressant drug amitriptyline 12.5 mg qn were prescribed for easing burning pain. Patients were excluded from the study if they fulfilled one of the following criteria: noncompliance with physician's advice, infection on the skin or the deep tissue at the puncture site, the presence of bleeding tendencies, or receiving anticoagulant therapy which could not be replaced with intravenous low-molecular-weight heparin subcutaneous injection. In addition, patients with unstable, severe cardiovascular or cerebrovascular disease, such as trigeminal neuralgia secondary to cranial tumors, were also excluded. Sixteen patients were excluded based on these criteria. This study was approved by the Institute Review Board of the Second Affiliated Hospital of Guangzhou Medical University. Informed consent for participation in this study was obtained from the patients before the treatment.

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