What is the role of electrodiagnostic testing in the diagnosis of Bell palsy (idiopathic facial paralysis) (IFP)?

Updated: Jun 14, 2019
  • Author: Danette C Taylor, DO, MS, FACN; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
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Answer

Electrodiagnostic testing measures the facial nerve degeneration indirectly. If a patient does not reach 90% degeneration within the first 3 weeks of the onset of paralysis, some studies suggest that the prognosis is excellent, with over 80–100% of the patients recovering with excellent function.

The patients who reach over 90% degeneration within the first 3 weeks of the onset of paralysis have a much more guarded prognosis, with only 50% having good recovery of facial motion. The rate of degeneration also predicts the prognosis. Patients who have 90% degeneration by 5 days have a worse prognosis than those with 90% degeneration at 14 days.


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