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Revista Brasileira de Otorrinolaringologia

Print version ISSN 0034-7299


FARIA, Simone Damasceno de; TESTA, José Ricardo Gurgel; BORIN, Andrei  and  TOLEDO, Ronaldo N.. Standardization of techniques used in facial nerve section and facial movement evaluation in rats. Rev. Bras. Otorrinolaringol. [online]. 2006, vol.72, n.3, pp.341-347. ISSN 0034-7299.

AIM: standardization of the technique to section the extratemporal facial nerve in rats and creation of a scale to evaluate facial movements in these animals before and after surgery. STUDY DESIGN: Experimental. METHOD: twenty Wistar rats were anesthetized with ketamine xylazine and submitted to sectioning of the facial nerve near its emergence through the mastoid foramen. Eye closure and blinking reflex, vibrissae movement and positioning were observed in all animals and a scale to evaluate these parameters was then created. RESULTS: The facial nerve trunk was found between the tendinous margin of the clavotrapezius muscle and the auricular cartilage. The trunk was proximally sectioned as it exits the mastoid foramen and the stumps were sutured with a 9-0-nylon thread. An evaluation and graduation scale of facial movements, independent for eye and vibrissae, was elaborated, together with a sum of the parameters, as a means to evaluate facial palsy. Absence of eye blinking and closure scored 1; the presence of orbicular muscle contraction, without blinking reflex, scored 2; 50% of eye closure through blinking reflex, scored 3, 75% of closure scored 4. The presence of complete eye closure and blinking reflex scored 5. The absence of movement and posterior position of the vibrissae scored 1; slight shivering and posterior position scored 2; greater shivering and posterior position, scored 3 and normal movement with posterior position, scored 4; symmetrical movement of he vibrissae, with anterior position, scored 5. CONCLUSION: The rat anatomy allows easy access to the extratemporal facial nerve, allowing its sectioning and standardized suture. It was also possible to establish an evaluation and graduation scale of the rat facial movements with facial palsy based on the clinical observation of these animals.

Keywords : evaluation; surgery; facial nerve; facial palsy; rats.

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