Subjective and Objective Outcome Measures in the Treatment of Facial Nerve Synkinesis With OnabotulinumtoxinA (Botox)

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Purpose:To evaluate the Sunnybrook Facial Grading System (SFGS) and Facial Clinimetric Evaluation Scale (FaCE Scale) instrument outcome measures pre- and 30-day posttreatment of facial nerve synkinesis with botulinum toxin with attempts to correlate the 2 scales.Methods:An IRB approved retrospective review of 22 patients with facial nerve synkinesis where the surgeon completed the SFGS and the patient completed the FaCE prior to receiving onabotulinumtoxinA therapy, the SFGS, and FaCE scales were completed again 1 month later.Results:Of the 22 patients, 9 complete datasets were analyzed. Mean patient age was 59.8; 8 (89%) women and 1 (11%) men. Overall SFGS composite score decreased from 57.6 ± 20.9 to 45.2 ± 13.5, (p = 0.001). SFGS subdomain synkinesis significantly improved (p < 0.001), while voluntary movement significantly decreased (p = 0.002). A difference in the resting symmetry was not statistically significant (p = 0.08). The FaCE scale composite score significantly improved from 40.9 ± 9.5 to 47.6 ± 11.9, (p = 0.03). FaCE subdomains facial comfort (p = 0.005) and social function (p = 0.009) significantly improved, while oral function, eye comfort, facial movement, and lacrimal control did not. The Δ pre/post-SFGS composite score did not correlate with the Δ pre/post-FaCE composite score (rs= −0.318). Subdomain analysis demonstrated significant negative correlation between Δ pre/post-SFGS synkinesis score and Δ pre/post-FaCE eye comfort score (rs = −0.826, p < 0.01).Conclusions:Significant improvement was seen in objectively reported synkinesis following botulinum toxin therapy. An improvement was noted in the overall subjective facial nerve functioning following therapy along with improvement in social functioning and facial comfort. A meaningful negative correlation was noted when comparing the SFGS “synkinesis” subdomain with the FaCE scale subdomain “eye comfort”, implying improvement in eye comfort with control of synkinesis.

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