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Transient Facial Nerve Palsy After Auriculotemporal Nerve Block in Awake Craniotomy Patients

McNicholas, Erin MD; Bilotta, Federico MD, PhD; Titi, Luca MD; Chandler, James MD; Rosa, Giovanni MD; Koht, Antoun MD

doi: 10.1097/ACC.0b013e3182a8ee71
Case Reports: Case Report

In this case series, we describe transient postoperative facial nerve palsy in patients after awake craniotomy using selective scalp nerve blocks. In a 1-year period, 7 of the 42 patients receiving scalp nerve blocks at our institutions developed this complication. This is significant because there is only 1 previously reported case of postoperative facial nerve palsy related to scalp nerve blocks. The exact cause of transient postoperative facial nerve palsy after auriculotemporal nerve block is unknown and likely multifactorial. This technique may need to be refined to avoid such complications.

From the *Department of Anesthesiology, Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois; Department of Anesthesiology, Critical Care and Pain Medicine, Section of Neurocritical Care, “Sapienza” University of Rome, Italy; and Departments of Neurological Surgery and §Neurology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, Illinois.

Accepted for publication August 7, 2013

Funding: There was no funding for this case series.

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Address correspondence to Antoun Koht, MD, Departments of Anesthesiology, Neurological Surgery, and Neurology, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, 251 E. Huron St., F5-704, Chicago, IL 60611. Address e-mail to

© 2014 International Anesthesia Research Society
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