Does Presurgical Magnetic Resonance Neurography Predict Surgical Gap Size in Trigeminal Class IV and V Injuries?

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Purpose: The accuracy of magnetic resonance neurography (MRN) for quantitative assessment of nerve injury gap is unknown. We tested the hypothesis that presurgical MRN predicts the final surgical gap size after neuroma resection at the time of surgery. Materials and Methods: This was a retrospective, single-blinded, nonrandomized cohort study on 43 patients with Sunderland Class IV and V injuries of the inferior alveolar (IAN) or the lingual nerve (LN). The MRN maxillofacial protocol was performed on a 3T scanner and was read by 2 musculoskeletal radiologists to determine the maximum size of neuroma and the abnormal nerve segment. Two independent variables were recorded during surgery: 1) the length of neuroma from histologic specimens since only 9 of the 43 neuroma size measurements were accurately measureable at the time of surgery; and 2) the length of nerve gap size after the neuroma was removed and normal fascicles were identified. Results: There were 7 IAN and 36 LN cases analyzed. The mean time in months from injury to MRN was 6.97 ± 9.18 and MRN to surgery was 1.21 ± 1.4. The mean length of the neuroma at surgery was 7.22 ± 2.78 mm and mean nerve gap size was 12.02 ± 4.41 mm. Intraclass coefficient (ICC) agreement was fair for abnormal nerve thickness and neuroma length (ICC = 0.28, 0.39) while it was moderate for neuroma thickness and abnormal nerve length (0.50, 0.59). There was no significant correlation between MRN based measurements and surgical gap size for both readers (P >.05). Conclusions: Abnormal nerve and neuromas of the peripheral trigeminal nerve as identified on MRN imaging demonstrates no correlation of the assessed MRN findings with the final surgical gap after neuroma removal.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2574-2581
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Oral Surgery
  • Otorhinolaryngology


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