gms | German Medical Science

63rd Annual Meeting of the German Society of Neurosurgery (DGNC)
Joint Meeting with the Japanese Neurosurgical Society (JNS)

German Society of Neurosurgery (DGNC)

13 - 16 June 2012, Leipzig

Electromyographic lateral spread in microvascular decompression procedures for hemifacial spasms – Correlation with outcome

Meeting Abstract

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  • K.V. Eckardstein - Klinik für Neurochirurgie, Klinikum der Georg-August-Universität, Göttingen, Deutschland; Department of Neurosurgery, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN, United States
  • V. Rohde - Klinik für Neurochirurgie, Klinikum der Georg-August-Universität, Göttingen, Deutschland
  • M. Link - Klinik für Neurochirurgie, Klinikum der Georg-August-Universität, Göttingen, Deutschland

Deutsche Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie. Japanische Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie. 63. Jahrestagung der Deutschen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie (DGNC), Joint Meeting mit der Japanischen Gesellschaft für Neurochirurgie (JNS). Leipzig, 13.-16.06.2012. Düsseldorf: German Medical Science GMS Publishing House; 2012. DocFR.06.10

doi: 10.3205/12dgnc212, urn:nbn:de:0183-12dgnc2129

Published: June 4, 2012

© 2012 Eckardstein et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.



Objective: In microvascular decompression procedures of the facial nerve for hemifacial spasms electrophysiologic monitoring is used routinely. Resolution of lateral spread in EMG monitoring of the facial nerve is a characteristic intraoperative finding after decompression of the nerve. A positive correlation with outcome has been described by others. We sought to retrospectively review our cases in order to assess for this correlation.

Methods: A total of 38 consecutive cases were reviewed. Clinical and intraoperative findings were assessed. Fisher two-tailed test was performed to evaluate for positive correlation of resolution of lateral spread and clinical outcome.

Results: A standard retrosigmoid approach in the lateral decubitus position was used for the decompression procedure. As expected, the anterior inferior cerebellar artery was the predominant compressive vessel (n = 10), although no intraoperative significant compression was found in seven patients. Twenty-two patients had immediate, sustained relief from the symptoms of hemifacial spasm. Of 36 patients with detected lateral spread prior to nerve decompression, a complete resolution of this EMG finding was found. However, a positive correlation could not be detected (p = .72).

Conclusions: In our series, there was no positive correlation of resolution of intraoperative lateral spread to resolution of symptoms of hemifacial spasms in microvasular decompression procedures.