A recent study published in Muscle & Nerve appears to show that needle electromyography can play a major role in reinnervation in face transplantation.
The study, titled "Reinnervation in face transplantation: The role of needle electromyography", was published by Hunaid Hasan, Elie Ramly, Rami Kantar, Etoile Leblanc, Eduardo Rodriguez, and Farng-Yang Foo.
The introduction for this abstract discussed how "over 40 facial transplantations (FTs) have been reported with little standardized use of needle EMG. While studies report using interval post-transplant needle EMG to monitor success, only a few include pre-transplant baseline facial nerve needle EMGs."
The abstract for this study was published in the 2019 American Association of Neuromuscular & Electrodiagnostic Medicine (AANEM) Abstract Guide, which was presented at the 2019 AANEM Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas this October.
The study examined pre and post needle EMG of two patient face transplantations.
The conclusion read, "Pre-transplant needle EMGs for 2 FTs correlated with neurological outcomes 1 month post-transplant. Combining neurological examinations with facial nerve needle EMGs increases sensitivity to motor activity detection and signs of reinnervation."
The results appeared to support the notion that having a "standardized baseline facial nerve needle EMG assessment prior to FT can help determine surgical candidacy and better understand nerve regeneration."
"Predicting post-transplant facial reinnervation is critical for prognosticating neurological outcomes and guiding patient expectations," the abstract read.