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February 1973

Neurophysiology of Facial Nerve Testing

Author Affiliations

From the departments of otolaryngology Drs. Alford, Jerger, and Weber, physiology Dr. Coats, and physical medicine Dr. Peterson, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1973;97(2):214-219. doi:10.1001/archotol.1973.00780010220027

Neurodiagnostic studies allow the physician to determine the location of the lesion producing facial paralysis and the physiological extent of nerve involvement. The Schirmer test for lacrimation, the stapedial-reflex test, electrogustometry, and submaxillary salivary gland secretion studies have been found to be most helpful in determining the site of the lesion.

The physiological extent of nerve involvement is determined by the nerve excitability test and electromyography. Therapy for patients with facial nerve paralysis must be based upon the cause of the paralysis, whether or not facial weakness is complete, the site of the lesion, and the physiological extent of nerve involvement.