Prognostic ability of intraoperative electromyographic monitoring during microvascular decompression for hemifacial spasm to predict lateral spread response outcome

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OBJECTIVE

Abnormal lateral spread response (LSR) is a typical finding in facial electromyography (EMG) in patients with hemifacial spasm (HFS). Although intraoperative monitoring of LSR has been widely used during microvascular decompression (MVD), the prognostic value of this monitoring is still debated. The purpose of this study was to determine whether such monitoring exhibits prognostic value for the alleviation of LSR after treatment of HFS.

METHODS

Between January 2009 and December 2013, a total of 582 patients underwent MVD for HFS with intraoperative EMG monitoring at Kyung Hee University Hospital. The patients were categorized into 1 of 2 groups according to the presence of LSR at the conclusion of surgery (Group A, LSR free; Group B, LSR persisting). Patients were assessed for the presence of HFS 1 day, 6 months, and 1 year after surgery. Various parameters, including age, sex, symptom duration, offending vertebral artery, and offending perforating artery, were evaluated for their influence on surgical and electrophysiological results.

RESULTS

Overall, HFS was alleviated in 455 (78.2%) patients 1 day after MVD, in 509 (87.5%) patients 6 months after MVD, and in 546 (93.8%) patients 1 year after MVD. Patients in Group B were significantly younger than those in Group A (p = 0.022). Patients with a symptom duration of less than 1 year were significantly more likely to be classified in Group A than were patients whose symptoms had persisted for longer than 10 years (p = 0.023); however, analysis of the entire range of symptom durations did not reveal a significant effect (p = 0.132). A comparison of Groups A and B according to follow-up period revealed that HFS recovery correlated with LSR alleviation over a shorter period, but the same was not true of longer periods; the proportions of spasm-free patients were 80.6% and 71.1% (p = 0.021), 89.4% and 81.9% (p = 0.022), and 93.5% and 94.6% (p = 0.699) 1 day, 6 months, and 1 year after surgery in Groups A and B, respectively.

CONCLUSIONS

Although intraoperative EMG monitoring during MVD was beneficial for identifying the offending vessel and suggesting the most appropriate surgical end point, loss of LSR did not always correlate with long-term HFS treatment outcome. Because the HFS cure rate improved over time, revision might be considered for persistent LSR when follow-up has been performed for more than 1 year and the spasm remains despite adequate decompression.

ABBREVIATIONSEMG = electromyography; HFS = hemifacial spasm; LSR = lateral spread response; MVD = microvascular decompression; REZ = root entry zone; VA = vertebral artery.
Article Information

Contributor Notes

INCLUDE WHEN CITING Published online April 22, 2016; DOI: 10.3171/2016.1.JNS151782.Correspondence Bong Jin Park, Department of Neurosurgery, Kyung Hee University Hospital, 1, Hoeki-dong, Dongdaemoon-gu, Seoul 130-702, South Korea. email: hyunsong@khmc.or.kr.

© AANS, except where prohibited by US copyright law.

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