Displacement of the Facial Nerve by Deep Parotid Lobe Lesions in the Pediatric Population

John Maddalozzo, Douglas R. Johnston, Andre Isaac*, Bharat Bhushan, Jeffrey C. Rastatter

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Objectives: To describe and investigate facial nerve displacement in deep lobe parotid lesions in children and to determine clinical and radiographic predictors of abnormal facial nerve position. Methods: Retrospective case review of children who underwent total parotidectomy for deep lobe parotid lesions at a tertiary care center between January 2014 and December 2017. Aberrant facial nerve trajectory was defined as ascension of the nerve at an angle of 45° or greater. Elongation was defined as the main trunk >2 cm in length. Patient demographics, radiographic, pathologic results, postoperative nerve weakness, and intraoperative nerve findings were collected. Wilcoxon rank-sum test and Fisher's exact test were used to assess the associations between variables of interest and facial nerve position. Results: A total of 20 patients were included. The mean age was 7.7 ± 5 years. The most common pathologies were lymphatic malformation, pleomorphic adenoma, and first branchial cleft cyst. Twelve out of twenty (60.0%) patients had abnormal intraoperative facial nerve position. There was no significant difference in distribution of pathologies between those with or without an abnormal intraoperative nerve position (P =.41). Neither radiographic lesion size nor distance between the lesion and proximal portion of the facial nerve (mastoid tip) were associated with abnormal facial nerve position intraoperatively. Conclusion: Pediatric deep lobe parotid lesions can displace the facial nerve and distort its anatomy in a posterior lateral direction, in approximately 60% of patients. Statistical analysis of increased numbers of patients to further define predictors of aberrant nerve course is warranted. Level of Evidence: 4.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)550-553
Number of pages4
JournalLaryngoscope investigative otolaryngology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2019


  • Parotid
  • deep lobe parotid
  • facial nerve
  • pediatric
  • salivary

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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