Journal of Neurology and Neuroscience

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A Prospective Study of Quality of Life in Patients Undergoing Microvascular Decompression for Hemifacial Spasm

Aleksandra Safonova, Ronak H. Jani, Xiaoran Zhang, Peter C. Gerszten, Jamie Craven and Raymond F. Sekula

Background: Hemifacial spasm (HFS) is a debilitating movement disorder caused by vascular compression of the facial nerve. The negative effect on quality of life (QOL) in patients with HFS has been well documented and our prior retrospective analysis demonstrated that microvascular decompression (MVD) has significantly improved QOL. Few prospective studies have assessed the QOL benefit of treatments for HFS. This study was conducted to compare the pre- and post-operative QOL of patients with HFS undergoing MVD.

Methods: A consecutive series of patients diagnosed with HFS and who underwent MVD surgery during a selected period of time were chosen. Demographic data as well as previous treatment with botulinum toxin were collected, and patients completed a pre-operative and postoperative self-reported QOL survey.

Findings: Complete cure was achieved in 65 of the 72 patients, with 2 patients experiencing an adverse effect of partial hearing loss on the ipsilateral side. The postoperative QOL mean score (2.38 ± 7.67) was superior to the pre-operative QOL mean score (24.94 ± 8.62).

Conclusion: MVD for HFS patients substantially improved all of the components of the QOL survey, with a spasmfree status achieved in greater than 90% of patients.