Impact of Motor-Evoked Potential Monitoring on Facial Nerve Outcomes after Vestibular Schwannoma Resection

Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 2019 Jan;128(1):56-61. doi: 10.1177/0003489418803969. Epub 2018 Oct 20.


Objectives:: Assess the utility of intraoperative transcranial facial motor-evoked potential (FMEP) monitoring in predicting and improving facial function after vestibular schwannoma (VS) resection.

Study design:: Retrospective chart review.

Methods:: Data were obtained from 82 consecutive VS resections meeting inclusion criteria. Sixty-two cases were performed without FMEP and 20 with FMEP. Degradation of FMEP response was defined as a final-to-baseline amplitude ratio of 0.5 or less. House-Brackmann (HB) grade was assessed preoperatively, postoperatively, at follow-up assessments, and it was compared between pre- and post-FMEP cohorts. Positive predictive value (PPV) and negative predictive value (NPV), sensitivity, and specificity of FMEP degradation in predicting facial weakness were calculated.

Results:: In the pre-FMEP group, at length of follow-up (LOF) ⩾9 months, 83.9% (52/62) of patients exhibited HB 1-2 outcome. In the post-FMEP cohort, 75.0% (15/20) exhibited HB 1-2 function at LOF ⩾9 months. There was no difference in rates of HB 1-2 outcomes between groups in the immediate postoperative period ( P = .35) or at long-term follow-up ( P = 1.0). With respect to predicting immediate postoperative facial function, FMEP demonstrated high specificity (88.9%) and moderate sensitivity (54.5%). The PPV and NPV for immediate postoperative facial function were 85.7% and 61.5%, respectively. With respect to long-term (⩾9 months LOF) facial function, intraoperative FMEP was moderately sensitive (71.4%) and highly specific (84.6%); PPV was moderate (71.4%), and NPV was high (84.6%).

Conclusions:: Intraoperative FMEP is highly specific and moderately sensitive in predicting postoperative facial function for patients undergoing VS resection, but its use may not be associated with improved facial nerve outcomes.

Level of evidence:: 4.

Keywords: cranial base; facial nerve; intraoperative monitoring; neurotology; otology.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Dissection / adverse effects
  • Dissection / methods
  • Evoked Potentials, Motor*
  • Facial Nerve / physiopathology
  • Facial Nerve Injuries / diagnosis
  • Facial Nerve Injuries / prevention & control
  • Facial Paralysis / diagnosis
  • Facial Paralysis / etiology
  • Facial Paralysis / prevention & control*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intraoperative Complications* / diagnosis
  • Intraoperative Complications* / prevention & control
  • Intraoperative Neurophysiological Monitoring / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neuroma, Acoustic / surgery*
  • Otologic Surgical Procedures* / adverse effects
  • Otologic Surgical Procedures* / methods
  • Outcome and Process Assessment, Health Care
  • Postoperative Complications / diagnosis
  • Postoperative Complications / prevention & control*
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Reproducibility of Results