Transient facial nerve palsy after topical papaverine application during vestibular schwannoma surgery: Case report

James K. Liu, Christina Sayama, Clough Shelton, Joel D. MacDonald

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Some evidence in the literature supports the topical application of papaverine to the cochlear nerve to prevent internal auditory artery vasospasm and cochlear ischemia as a method of enhancing the ability to preserve hearing during acoustic neuroma surgery. The authors report a case of transient facial nerve palsy that occurred after papaverine was topically applied during a hearing preservation acoustic neuroma removal. A 58-year-old woman presented with tinnitus and serviceable sensorineural hearing loss in her right ear (speech reception threshold 15 dB, speech discrimination score 100%). Magnetic resonance imaging demonstrated a 1.5-cm acoustic neuroma in the right cerebellopontine angle (CPA). A retrosigmoid approach was performed to achieve gross-total resection of the tumor. During tumor removal, a solution of 3% papaverine soaked in a Gelfoam pledget was placed over the cochlear nerve. Shortly thereafter, the quality of the facial nerve stimulation deteriorated markedly. Electrical stimulation of the facial nerve did not elicit a response at the level of the brainstem but was observed to elicit a robust response more peripherally. There were no changes in auditory brainstem responses. Immediately after surgery, the patient had a House-Brackmann Grade V facial palsy on the right side. After several hours, this improved to a Grade I. At the 1-month follow-up examination, the patient exhibited normal facial nerve function and stable hearing. Intracisternal papaverine may cause a transient facial nerve palsy by producing a temporary conduction block of the facial nerve. This adverse effect should be recognized when topical papaverine is used during CPA surgery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1039-1042
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Neurosurgery
Volume107
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2007
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Papaverine
Acoustic Neuroma
Facial Paralysis
Facial Nerve
Hearing
Cerebellopontine Angle
Cochlear Nerve
Absorbable Gelatin Sponge
Speech Perception
Aptitude
Brain Stem Auditory Evoked Potentials
Tinnitus
Sensorineural Hearing Loss
Cochlea
Electric Stimulation
Brain Stem
Ear
Neoplasms
Ischemia
Arteries

Keywords

  • Acoustic neuroma
  • Facial nerve palsy
  • Hearing preservation
  • Intracisternal papaverine
  • Vestibular schwannoma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)

Cite this

Transient facial nerve palsy after topical papaverine application during vestibular schwannoma surgery : Case report. / Liu, James K.; Sayama, Christina; Shelton, Clough; MacDonald, Joel D.

In: Journal of Neurosurgery, Vol. 107, No. 5, 11.2007, p. 1039-1042.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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