Neurosurgical Review

, Volume 40, Issue 2, pp 267–273 | Cite as

Outcome of microvascular decompression for hemifacial spasm associated with the vertebral artery

  • Jun MasuokaEmail author
  • Toshio Matsushima
  • Yukiko Nakahara
  • Kouhei Inoue
  • Fumitaka Yoshioka
  • Masatou Kawashima
  • Tatsuya Abe
Original Article


We retrospectively compared the outcome of microvascular decompression (MVD) for hemifacial spasm (HFS) associated with the vertebral artery (VA) with that of MVD for HFS unrelated to the VA. Between April 2008 and April 2015, 22 patients with VA-associated HFS underwent MVD at our institution. The median follow-up period was 28 months (range, 12–90 months). Results were classified as excellent in 19 patients (86 %), good in one (5 %), fair in one (5 %), and poor in one (5 %). Immediate complications developed in five patients (23 %), and one of these complications (5 %) was permanent. The surgical outcome of MVD for VA-associated HFS was similar to that of MVD for HFS unrelated to the VA; however, the incidence of complications was significantly more frequent in patients whose VA compressed the more proximal portion of the facial nerve root exit zone from the caudal side at the pontomedullary sulcus. We conclude that preoperative evaluation of VA compression patterns is important to predict the difficulty of the planned MVD procedure.


Microvascular decompression Hemifacial spasm Vertebral artery Complication 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

For this type of retrospective study, formal consent is not required.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jun Masuoka
    • 1
    Email author
  • Toshio Matsushima
    • 1
  • Yukiko Nakahara
    • 1
  • Kouhei Inoue
    • 1
  • Fumitaka Yoshioka
    • 1
  • Masatou Kawashima
    • 1
  • Tatsuya Abe
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Neurosurgery, Faculty of MedicineSaga UniversitySagaJapan

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