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J Craniomaxillofac Surg. 2012 Jul;40(5):427-34. doi: 10.1016/j.jcms.2011.07.016. Epub 2011 Sep 1.

Nimodipine promotes regeneration of peripheral facial nerve function after traumatic injury following maxillofacial surgery: an off label pilot-study.

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Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery and Facial Plastic Surgery, Martin-Luther-University of Halle-Wittenberg, Ernst-Grube-Strasse 40, 06120 Halle (S.), Germany.



Animal tests, retro- and prospective clinical trials in neurosurgical departments have shown a beneficial effect of nimodipine on the preservation and recovery of facial and acoustic nerve function following vestibular schwannoma surgery. Encouraged by these positive results a pilot-study of nimodipine treatment in patients with a peripheral facial nerve (FN) paresis following maxillofacial surgery was performed. The rate and time of FN recovery were analysed and compared with the results in the literature.


Thirteen patients (n = 13) suffering from a moderate (1/13) up to a severe (12/13) peripheral FN paresis after maxillofacial surgery were treated with orally administered nimodipine. The anatomical main course of the FN was preserved in all patients with a 2nd to 3rd degree of Sunderland-injury (Sunderland, 1951). After no evidence of a spontaneous regeneration had shown, oral medication with nimodipine was started as an "off-label" use.


An improvement of the FN function correlated to the start of the vasoactive medication and as a consequence a recovery of the FN function up to House-Brackmann (HB) grade I°-II° was observed in all the patients within a period of 2 months after the beginning of treatment (p = 0.00027).


The clinical observations in these patients suggest a positive effect of nimodipine on the acceleration of peripheral FN regeneration after surgically caused trauma. The results of this pilot-study are very promising. A prospective study with a larger number of patients is planned to approve the beneficial effect of nimodipine on the peripheral FN in maxillofacial or otorhinolaryngological surgery.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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