Prognosis of Symptoms and Complications After Microvascular Decompression for Hemifacial Spasm

World Neurosurg. (2018) 118:e557-e561

The aim of this study was to identify potential prognostic factors of hemifacial spasm (HFS) after microvascular decompression (MVD), to establish the appropriate way to tackle postprocedure symptoms and complications (PPSCs), and to find the incidence and duration of PPSCs.

METHODS: Two hundred and forty-eight patients with HFS were monitored between December 2009 and December 2014. The mean follow-up duration was 24 months (range, 6e67 months). We divided patients based on their PPSC status and investigated the following factors: age, sex, spasm side, facial nerve block before MVD (botulinum toxin treatment), acupuncture before MVD, duration of HFS, hypertension, diabetes, hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection status, herpes simplex virus infection status, smoking status and alcohol use, offending vessels, Chiari malformation, electrophysiologic monitoring results, and postoperative HFS. Univariable analysis and multivariate logistic regression were used to find potential risk factors. Kaplan-Meier analysis was used to show the duration of postprocedure facial palsy.

RESULTS: Age (odds ratio [OR], 1.037; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.004e1.072; P [ 0.03) and HBV status (OR, 18.256; 95% CI, 2.723e122.415; P [ 0.03) were positive predictors of PPSCs. Postoperative HFS (OR, 0.249; 95% CI, 0.084e0.0739; P [ 0.012) may be a protective factor for postprocedure facial palsy. Most PPSCs related to cranial nerves recovered spontaneously in 3 months. Infections and cerebrospinal fluid leakages were controlled by medical intervention in 1e2 weeks. The permanent complication rate was only 4.8%.

CONCLUSIONS: Although the incidence of PPSCs after MVD is very high, most PPSCs related to cranial nerves recovered spontaneously in several days. Permanent complications after MVD for HFS are rare. Age may relate to the occurrence of PPSCs, and postoperative HFS may be a protective factor for patients with facial palsy after MVD.