Combinatorial treatments enhance recovery following facial nerve crush

Nijee Sharma, Carl W. Moeller, Sam J. Marzo, Kathryn J. Jones, Eileen M. Foecking

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

21 Scopus citations


Objectives/Hypothesis: To investigate the effects of various combinatorial treatments, consisting of a tapering dose of prednisone (P), a brief period of nerve electrical stimulation (ES), and systemic testosterone propionate (TP) on improving functional recovery following an intratemporal facial nerve crush injury. Study Design: Prospective, controlled animal study. Methods: After a right intratemporal facial nerve crush, adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were divided into the following eight treatment groups: 1) no treatment, 2) P only, 3) ES only, 4) ES + P, 5) TP only, 6) TP + P, 7) ES + TP, and 8) ES + TP + P. For each group n = 4-8. Recovery of the eyeblink reflex and vibrissae orientation and movement were assessed. Changes in peak amplitude and latency of evoked response, in response to facial nerve stimulation, was also recorded weekly. Results: Brief ES of the proximal nerve stump most effectively accelerated the initiation of functional recovery. Also, ES or TP treatments enhanced recovery of some functional parameters more than P treatment. When administered alone, none of the three treatments improved recovery of complete facial function. Only the combinatorial treatment of ES + TP, regardless of the presence of P, accelerated complete functional recovery and return of normal motor nerve conduction. Conclusions: Our findings suggest that a combinatorial treatment strategy of using brief ES and TP together promises to be an effective therapeutic intervention for promoting regeneration following facial nerve injury. Administration of P neither augments nor hinders recovery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1523-1530
Number of pages8
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2010


  • Electrical stimulation
  • Facial nerve
  • Facial paralysis
  • Nerve injury
  • Nerve regeneration
  • Prednisone
  • Testosterone

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology

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    Sharma, N., Moeller, C. W., Marzo, S. J., Jones, K. J., & Foecking, E. M. (2010). Combinatorial treatments enhance recovery following facial nerve crush. Laryngoscope, 120(8), 1523-1530.