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Journal of Integrative Medicine ›› 2014, Vol. 12 ›› Issue (4): 367-371.doi: 10.1016/S2095-4964(14)60036-4

• Research Article • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Electrical response grading versus House-Brackmann scale for evaluation of facial nerve injury after Bell’s palsy: A comparative study

Bin Huanga, Zhang-ling Zhoua, Li-li Wanga, Cong Zuob, Yan Luc, Yong Chenc   

  1. Department of Acupuncture and Moxibustion, General Hospital of Chinese PLA, Beijing, China
    Department of Microorganism, Center for Disease Prevention and Control, Zhoukou 466000, Henan Province, China
    Department of Rehabilitation, Hainan Branch of General Hospital of Chinese PLA, Sanya 572014, Hainan Province, China
  • Received:2014-03-19 Accepted:2014-06-03 Online:2014-07-10 Published:2018-10-24


There are no convenient techniques to evaluate the degree of facial nerve injury during a course of acupuncture treatment for Bell’s palsy. Our previous studies found that observing the electrical response of specific facial muscles provided reasonable correlation with the prognosis of electroacupuncture treatment. Hence, we used the new method to evaluate the degree of facial nerve injury in patients with Bell’s palsy in comparison with the House-Brackmann scale. The relationship between therapeutic effects and prognosis was analyzed to explore an objective method for evaluating Bell’s palsy. 


The facial nerve function of 68 patients with Bell’s palsy was assessed with both electrical response grading and the House-Brackmann scale before treatment. Then differences in evaluation results of the two methods were compared. All enrolled patients received electroacupuncture treatment with disperse-dense wave at 1/100 Hz for 4 weeks. After treatment, correlation analysis was conducted to find the relationship between electrical response and therapeutic effects or prognosis. 


Checking consistency between electrical response grading and House-Brackmann scale: Kappa value 0.028 (P = 0.578). Correlation analysis: the two methods were correlated with the prognosis, and electrical response grading (rER = 0.789) was better than the House-Brackmann scale (rHB = 0.423). 


Electrical response grading is superior to the House-Brackmann scale in efficacy and reliability, and can conveniently assess the degree of facial nerve injury. The House-Brackmann scale is suitable for the patients with mild facial nerve injury, but its evaluation quality for severe facial nerve injury is poor.

Key words: Bell’s palsy, Facial nerve function, Electrical response, House-Brackmann scale, Acupuncture and moxibustion

Figure 1

Flow diagram of the study"



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