What is the role of imaging studies in the workup of hemifacial spasm?

Updated: Sep 16, 2019
  • Author: Steven Gulevich, MD; Chief Editor: Nicholas Lorenzo, MD, MHA, CPE  more...
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Answer

Magnetic resonance imaging is the imaging study of choice, especially if an underlying compressive lesion is suspected. Cerebral angiography offers little diagnostic value in hemifacial spasm. Ectatic blood vessels rarely are identified, and it is difficult to correlate vessels with the facial nerve. Perform angiography and/or magnetic resonance angiography prior to a vascular decompression surgical procedure. Angiography is often performed before decompressive surgery to clarify the vascular anatomy, because it may identify an aneurysm or vascular anomaly. [7]


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