J Neuroophthalmol. 2022 Dec 6. doi: 10.1097/WNO.0000000000001770. Online ahead of print.
BACKGROUND: Subtle morphological alterations have been reported even in the nonaffected side of the orbicularis oculi muscle in patients with hemifacial spasm. However, no previous study assessed immunohistochemical, metabolic, and morphometric alterations in orbicularis oculi muscle fibers in affected and nonaffected sides in patients with this condition, compared with samples obtained from healthy subjects. The purpose of this study is to objectively assess and compare orbicularis oculi muscle (OOM) samples of hemifacial spasm affected and nonaffected sides and healthy subjects.
METHODS: Orbicularis oculi samples from 8 patients with hemifacial spasm who had not been previously treated and 6 healthy subjects were prepared using hematoxylin and eosin, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide tetrazolium reductase, cytochrome oxidase, succinate dehydrogenase, Gomori staining, and monoclonal antibodies against myosin slow and myosin fast. A digital image analysis software was used for objective analysis.
RESULTS: OOM fiber area was significantly greater in both affected (P = 0.0379) and nonaffected sides (P = 0.0012) of HFS samples when compared with control subjects’ fibers. A significantly greater number of oxidative fibers were observed in both affected and nonaffected sides of patients with HFS when compared with control subjects (P < 0.001 for both). A significantly greater percentage of slow fibers was observed in the affected side of HFS patients (P = 0.0012) compared with control subjects.
CONCLUSIONS: This study’s findings suggest that repeated contractions might lead to OOM fiber hypertrophy, increased mitochondrial metabolism, and possible conversion of fast-twitch orbicularis oculi muscle fibers into slow-twitch fibers in patients with HFS. Alterations were observed in affected and nonaffected sides, confirming initial findings that the nonaffected side is not normal in this unique condition.