Prognostic value of evoked and standard electromyography in acute facial paralysis

J. S. Sillman, J. K. Niparko, S. S. Lee, P. R. Kileny

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Ninety-one patients with idiopathic (n = 62) and traumatic (n = 29) facial paralyses were available for evaluation at least 1 year after the onset of paralysis. In nine cases of idiopathic paralysis and in 12 cases of traumatic paralysis, total intratemporal nerve decompression was performed. The remaining patients were treated with steroids alone. All patients underwent evoked electromyography (EEMG) testing within 2 weeks of the onset of paralysis. Facial nerve recovery was graded using the House-Brackmann facial nerve recovery scale. Subjects were grouped according to maximal decline of compound muscle action potential (CAP), as determined by EEMG, and by level of recovery 1 year after onset of paralysis. Among patients who did not undergo surgical decompression of the facial nerve, incomplete clinical recovery (grade III or higher) was significantly associated with CAP decline of >90% (p <0.05) for idiopathic paralysis. In contrast, there was no significant association between CAP decline of >90% and clinical outcome in traumatic paralysis. These findings support previous reports of the prognostic value of EEMG in idiopathic facial paralysis, but suggest that this test may have less predictive value in the evaluation of facial paralysis as a result of trauma.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)377-381
Number of pages5
JournalOtolaryngology - Head and Neck Surgery
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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