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Neurosurgery. 2000 May;46(5):1140-6; discussion 1146-8.

Quantitative parameters of intraoperative electromyography predict facial nerve outcomes for vestibular schwannoma surgery.

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Department of Neurosurgery, University of W├╝rzburg, Germany.



Facial nerve monitoring is an established method that is routinely used during cerebellopontine angle tumor surgery. The aim of this study was to determine quantitative electromyographic (EMG) parameters that were predictive of facial nerve outcomes.


In 137 patients with intra-/extrameatal vestibular schwannomas, the most proximal (the exit from the brainstem) and distal (the fundus of the internal auditory canal) parts of the facial nerve were stimulated after total tumor removal. A quantitative analysis of absolute values and ratios (proximal/distal) of evoked EMG parameters (amplitude, latency, and duration) was performed, and parameters were correlated with postoperative (1 and 6 wk and 6 mo) facial nerve function (FNF).


Absolute values of EMG amplitudes were statistically correlated with FNF (P < 0.05). Amplitude ratios (proximal/distal) demonstrated an even greater predictive power. The risk of exhibiting facial palsy 6 months after surgery increased from 1.6% (amplitude ratio of >0.8) to 75% (ratio of <0.1). For EMG latencies, only the ratios revealed a significant correlation with FNF. The latency ratio-dependent risk of facial palsy after 6 months increased from 2.9% (ratio of <1.05) to 33% (ratio of >1.35). The durations of the muscle responses were not significantly correlated with clinical outcomes.


The predictive power of the amplitudes and latencies of electrically evoked muscle responses could be improved by calculating proximal/distal ratios. The proximal/distal amplitude ratio proved to be the most powerful parameter for intraoperative assessment of postoperative FNF.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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