Pathology of the Facial Nerve

      A good examination in facial nerve imaging (CT or MR imaging) depends on a good knowledge of anatomy. Two clinical situations must be considered: imaging of patients with or without facial palsy. CT and MR imaging are very useful when the symptoms are atypical or progressive: MR imaging gives very good information about the facial nerve inflammation but may also discover a schwannoma, a hemangioma, a meningioma, or a primitive or secondary cholesteatoma. In malignant tumors of the parotid gland, a study of the fallopian canal must always be performed to delineate an extension in the mastoid, tympanic, or intrameatic parts. In some rare cases, a metastasis in the temporal bone may occur, especially in the region of the geniculate ganglion. Particular attention must be paid to children with facial palsy, considering the possibility of a histiocytosis or metastasis of a neuroblastoma.


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