Pathology of the Facial Nerve

Part of the Medical Radiology book series (MEDRAD)


The facial nerve is the most common paralyzed nerve of the human body. It is responsible for facial mimic, lacrimation, salivation, and taste with dysfunction of this nerve having a tremendous negative impact on patient’s lives. Its long and tortuous course within the densest bone of the human body and its fragile vascular supply make it particularly vulnerable to injury and difficult to rehabilitate functionally. As it is not amenable to direct clinical inspection, imaging plays a pivotal role in the diagnosis, management, and follow-up of patients with facial nerve dysfunction. The increasing resolution of imaging studies has lead to an increasing number of recognizable causes of facial nerve palsy improving the diagnostic yield and allowing for early treatment and functional rehabilitation. However, to keep high-resolution imaging within a reasonable time frame, it is advisable to tailor studies to the most likely location of a lesion along the course of the nerve. Clinically oriented topognostic testing is invaluable for this purpose. Appropriate imaging of the facial nerve requires detailed knowledge of its anatomy and physiology, mastering imaging technique, and recognition of the imaging features of the wide set of pathologic processes that may affect this nerve.


Facial Nerve Facial Nerve Palsy Internal Auditory Canal Hemifacial Spasm Facial Nerve Canal 



Fast spin echo


Diffusion weighted imaging


Gradient echo


Tridimensional Fourier transform constructive interference in the steady state


Driven equilibrium (optimized contrast using flip angle evolution)


Fast imaging employing steady-state acquisition


Gradient echo steady-state free precessing


True fast imaging with steady-state precession


Balanced fast-field echo


Sampling perfection with application of optimized contrast


Tridimensional time-of-flight magnetic resonance angiography


Fast imaging with steady-state precession


Fast low-angle shot


Contrast-enhanced Fourier-acquired steady state


Spoiled gradient echo


Magnetized prepared rapid gradient echo


Volume interpolation breath hold enhancement


Sensitivity encoding


Susceptibility weighted images


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Radiology DepartmentInstituto Português de Oncologia Francisco Gentil- Centro de LisboaLisbonPortugal

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