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March 13, 1967


JAMA. 1967;199(11):843-844. doi:10.1001/jama.1967.03120110115025

In recent years electrodiagnostic studies have proved extremely helpful to the physician in the evaluation of patients with facial nerve paralysis. Because of the development of newer diagnostic methods, otologists are now able to determine precisely the neuropathological process that is taking place in the nerve. Consequently, it has been possible to recognize much earlier if there is a need for surgical intervention.

The two most useful techniques for evaluation have been the nerve-stimulation and electromyography studies. The nerve-excitability study has proved to be the most reliable, practical, and informative of the nerve-stimulation techniques and is presently the preferred test for following the clinical course of patients from onset of the paralysis. As reported in a recent issue of the Archives of Otolaryngology,2 this study permits comparison of the threshold of excitability on the paralyzed side with the threshold of excitability on the normal side. If no alteration in