A new method for measuring compound muscle action potentials in facial palsy: A preliminary study

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Abstract

To establish a simple, reproducible procedure for studying facial motor nerve conduction (MNC), we determined the optimal electrode position to record evoked compound muscle action potentials (CMAPs) from perioral muscles in normal subjects. We examined three new electrode positions in which the electrode connected to the one input of the amplifier was placed on the mental protuberance, and the one connected to the other input was placed on the skin over the orbicularis oris muscle (the philtrum, mouth angle, or lower lip). We then compared the morphology and amplitudes of the CMAPs, right–left differences, and the reproducibility of CMAP amplitudes with recordings taken from the standard electrode position in which one electrode was placed on the nasolabial fold closely lateral to the ala nasi, and the other was placed on the skin over the orbicularis oris. Percutaneous supramaximal electrical stimulation was applied to the main trunk of the facial nerve. All three of the new recording positions showed greater amplitudes and more obvious biphasic CMAPs than the standard method. Positioning the electrode connected to the negative input on the philtrum was optimal in terms of right–left differences and the reproducibility of CMAP amplitudes. Therefore, this midline recording is a simple, reproducible method for calculating the CMAP amplitude ratio. However, prior to clinical use of this procedure, analyses of patients with facial palsy are required.

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