TOPOGRAPHIC diagnosis of facial nerve lesions may provide valuable information as to clinical diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis.
A detailed knowledge of the anatomy and physiology of the facial nerve is necessary for estimating the various problems related to the differential topographic diagnosis of facial nerve lesions.
Survey of the Anatomy and Physiology of the Facial Nerve
Embryologically, the facial nerve belongs to the second branchial (hyoid) arch, from which the facial musculature is developed. It is a mixed nerve, containing four components with different functions, two efferent and two afferent divisions.
Special visceral efferent fibers, supplying striated musculature (the muscles of expression of the face and neck, the stylohyoid, the posterior belly of the digastric and the stapedius).
General visceral efferent fibers, the trophic center of which is the superior salivary nucleus. These fibers represent the parasympathetic efferent component of the nerve and proceed to the lacrimal gland
JEPSEN O. Topognosis (Topographic Diagnosis) Of Facial Nerve Lesions. Arch Otolaryngol. 1965;81(5):446–456. doi:10.1001/archotol.1965.00750050459002
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