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Facial nerve paralysis caused by middle ear cholesteatoma and effects of surgical intervention.

CONCLUSIONS: The clinical and surgical findings of this study indicated advanced cholesteatoma in many patients with facial paralysis. The outcome of facial paralysis was good. Poor outcomes were observed in cases with petrosal cholesteatoma and in those who underwent surgery > or = 2 months after the onset of paralysis.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate clinical features of cholesteatoma associated with facial paralysis.

MATERIAL AND METHODS: Sixteen patients with facial paralysis due to middle ear cholesteatoma were reviewed. After removal of the cholesteatoma lesion, a limited area of the fallopian canal, that in which facial nerve edema or redness was evident, was opened. Incision of the epineural sheath for nerve decompression was not performed.

RESULTS: Initial paralysis was incomplete in 11 patients (69%). The onset of paralysis was sudden in 12 patients (75%). Labyrinthine fistulae (n = 9; 56%) and bone destruction in the cranial fossa (n = 10; 63%) were frequently observed. Six patients (38%) were totally deaf due to labyrinthitis. The outcome of facial paralysis was good in 13 patients (81%). Patients who underwent surgery > or = 2 months after the onset of paralysis frequently had a poor outcome. Paralysis was not improved in two cases with petrosal cholesteatoma.

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