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Colletti Vittorio; Fiorino, Francesco G.
The American Journal of Otology: July 1998

Objective: This study aimed to illustrate some recent advances in intraoperative monitoring of the seventh and eighth cranial nerves (i.e., direct recording of cochlear nerve action potentials [CNAPs] and facial nerve action potentials [FNAPs]).

Study Design: Reports of representative cases and average postoperative results obtained in subjects submitted to cerebellopontine angle surgical procedures are examined. Results obtained in patients with direct recording techniques are compared with those obtained with the classical monitoring techniques (auditory brain stem response [ABR], electrocochleography [ECoG], facial electromyography [EMG]).

Setting: The study was conducted at an Ear Nose and Throat Department, University of Verona, Verona, Italy.

Intervention: Intraoperative monitoring during cerebellopontine angle surgery was performed.

Results: Patients monitored with direct audiomonitoring techniques presented better postoperative auditory functions compared to patients monitored with ABR. The FNAP and EMG groups showed FN outcome that did not differ significantly.

Conclusions: Intraoperative monitoring of cranial nerves furnishes a valid tool for identification of neural structures, prevention of damage, understanding of the pathophysiology of damage, and prediction of postoperative function. The fundamental prerequisite for obtaining optimal benefits from monitoring is the use of techniques of direct and continuous electrophysiologic recording with instantaneous feedback to the surgeon, such as CNAPs and FNAPs.

© 1998, The American Journal of Otology, Inc.