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Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 2013 Nov;122(11):695-700.

Long-term outcomes of facial nerve function in irradiated and nonirradiated nerve grafts.

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  • 1Skull Base Unit, Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, University Hospital Aintree, Liverpool, England, UK.



We reviewed the long-term results of facial nerve repair in a tertiary head and neck institution in the north of England.


We performed a case notes review of patients who had facial nerve repair over a 10-year period and had completed 24 months of follow-up.


The study population comprised 18 female patients and 24 male patients, with an overall mean age of 53.2 years (range, 16 to 80 years). Of the 24 patients who had a cable nerve graft, the greater auricular nerve was used in 15 cases. The sural nerve was used as the donor in a cross-facial nerve graft in 9 patients. Sixteen patients had transposition nerve repair: hypoglossal and ansa cervicalis in 7 and 9 cases, respectively. Two patients had primary anastomosis after surgery for extensive malignant tumors. In this series, no patients achieved a House-Brackmann (HB) grade of II. Overall, the HB grades III, IV, and V were the best postoperative facial nerve functions achieved in 11.9%, 33.3%, and 26.2% of patients, respectively. Failure (HB grade VI) was observed in 28.6% of patients. More than half of patients (62.5%) who had either a sural nerve cable graft or a faciohypoglossal transposition had a good outcome (HB grade III or IV).


In the present series, 45% of patients had an HB grade of III or IV at long-term follow-up. The best outcome (HB grade III) was observed after cross-facial grafting with the sural nerve.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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