Intraoperative Monitoring of Motor Evoked Potential for the Facial Nerve Using a Cranial Peg-Screw Electrode and a "Threshold-level" Stimulation Method

Skull Base. 2010 Nov;20(6):429-34. doi: 10.1055/s-0030-1261270.


Transcranial motor evoked potential (MEP) for the facial nerve (facial MEP) has been recognized as a good method for quantitative monitoring of facial nerve function in skull base surgery. To improve the feasibility and safety of facial MEP monitoring, a peg-screw electrode and a "threshold-level" method were investigated. From 2007 to 2009, intraoperative facial MEP monitoring with the peg-screw electrode and threshold-level method was successfully achieved in 26 of 29 patients who underwent surgery for the posterior fossa extra-axial tumor. The relationship between the change in the facial MEP threshold level and the postoperative function of the facial nerve was analyzed in 23 patients who had no facial palsy preoperatively. There were no complications associated with facial MEP monitoring. Nine patients who had stable facial MEP threshold had no facial palsy. Fourteen patients who had worsened but measurable facial MEP threshold had mild palsy at discharge. Two of three patients who had severely worsened and unmeasurable facial MEP threshold had severe facial palsy. The change in the facial MEP was well correlated with the postoperative facial function. The peg-screw electrode and threshold-level method are good options for facial MEP monitoring.

Keywords: Intraoperative electrophysiological monitoring; facial nerve; motor evoked potential; skull base.