Predictive factors of long-term facial nerve function after vestibular Schwannoma surgery

John E. Fenton*, R. Y. Chin, P. A. Fagan, O. Sterkers, J. M. Sterkers

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    57 Citations (Scopus)


    Objective: To assess predictive factors of long-term facial nerve function in a series of patients undergoing vestibular schwannoma surgery and to evaluate the reproducibility of the relevant parameters. Study Design: Prospective. Setting: Three tertiary referral neurotology units in two separate countries. Patients: A total of 67 patients, with normal preoperative facial function and an anatomically intact facial nerve postoperatively, undergoing vestibular schwannoma surgery during a sequential 18-month period. Interventions: Recording of intraoperative stimulus amplitudes (minimum intensity medial to the tumor after excision) and postoperative facial nerve function up to 2 years after surgery. Main Outcome Measures: Long-term facial nerve function related to tumor size, early postoperative facial nerve function, and intraoperative electrophysiologic intensities. Results: Multivariate logistic regression model identified tumor size and the minimum intensity required to provoke a stimulus threshold event medial to the tumor after excision as independent predictors of a favorable initial outcome. Immediate facial nerve function was the only independent predictor of long-term normal function. The sensitivity of this predictor was 95% (95% confidence interval [CI], 89-100%); specificity, 83% (95% CI, 62-100%); positive predictive accuracy, 96% (95% CI, 91-100%); and negative predictive accuracy, 77% (95% CI, 54-100%). Conclusion: The combination of electrophysiologic intensities and tumor size are reproducible and better predictors of initial facial nerve function than any individual parameter, but long-term facial nerve function is more likely to have a better outcome if the nerve is left intact and a per-operative graft repair is not performed. The study suggests that although the best available predictor of overall long-term facial nerve outcome is the level of early postoperative function, this factor is not useful in surgical rehabilitation decision making.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)388-392
    Number of pages5
    JournalOtology and Neurotology
    Issue number3
    Publication statusPublished - 2002


    • Facial nerve
    • Prediction
    • Surgery
    • Vestibular schwannoma


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