Unusual causes of hemifacial spasm

N. Gálvez-Jiménez, M. R. Hanson, M. Desai

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

41 Scopus citations


Hemifacial spasm (HFS) has been defined as consisting of brief clonic jerking movements of the facial musculature, beginning in the orbicularis oculi with downward spreading to other facial muscles. HFS, perhaps the most common of the abnormal involuntary facial movements, has been classically ascribed to vascular loop compression at the root exit zone of the facial nerve. Causes other than such vascular loops are rare in the medical literature. Here we present three case studies in which the phenomenology of the HFS was atypical in onset and evolution. Using these three patients as introduction to the topic, we reviewed the literature of ali cases of HFS with causes other than the vascular loop. In these three cases, HFS was caused by (1) a parotid gland tumor, (2) a cerebellopontine angle meningioma, and (3) an acoustic schwannoma. We also discuss the radiological findings as well as possible differences in the genesis of HFS and phenomenology in such cases and present recommendations on how to evaluate these patients.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-83
Number of pages9
JournalSeminars in Neurology
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 9 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Facial dyskinesias
  • Hemifacial spasm
  • Psychogenic movement disorders
  • Tumors

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neuroscience(all)


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