Conclusions: Quantitative analysis of the facial nerve on the lesion side as well as the normal side, which allowed for more accurate measurement of facial nerve enhancement in patients with facial palsy, showed statistically significant correlation with the initial severity of facial nerve inflammation, although little prognostic significance was shown.
Objectives: This study investigated the clinical significance of quantitative measurement of facial nerve enhancement in patients with Bell's palsy by analyzing the enhancement pattern and correlating MRI findings with initial severity of facial palsy and clinical outcome.
Subjects and methods: Facial nerve enhancement was measured quantitatively by using the region of interest on pre- and postcontrast T1-weighted images in 44 patients diagnosed with Bell's palsy. The signal intensity increase on the lesion side was first compared with that of the contralateral side and then correlated with the initial degree of facial palsy and prognosis.
Results: The lesion side showed significantly higher signal intensity increase compared with the normal side in all of the segments except for the mastoid segment. Signal intensity increase at the internal auditory canal and labyrinthine segments showed correlation with the initial degree of facial palsy but no significant difference was found between different prognostic groups.