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IHS Diagnosis ICD-10
13.2.1 Classical glossopharyngeal neuralgia [G52.10] G44.847  


Glossopharyngeal neuralgia is a severe transient stabbing pain experienced in the ear, base of the tongue, tonsillar fossa or beneath the angle of the jaw. The pain is therefore felt in the distributions of the auricular and pharyngeal branches of the vagus nerve as well as of the glossopharyngeal nerve. It is commonly provoked by swallowing, talking or coughing and may remit and relapse in the fashion of trigeminal neuralgia.

Diagnostic criteria:

  1. Paroxysmal attacks of facial pain lasting from a fraction of a second to 2 minutes and fulfilling criteria B and C
  2. Pain has all of the following characteristics:
    1. unilateral location
    2. distribution within the posterior part of the tongue, tonsillar fossa, pharynx or beneath the angle of the lower jaw and/or in the ear
    3. sharp, stabbing and severe
    4. precipitated by swallowing, chewing, talking, coughing and/or yawning
  3. Attacks are stereotyped in the individual patient
  4. There is no clinically evident neurological deficit
  5. Not attributed to another disorder1


  1. Other causes have been ruled out by history, physical examination and/or special investigations.