Clinical Neuroscience

[CLINICAL ANALYSIS OF PATIENTS WITH PERIPHERAL FACIAL PALSY]

ILNICZKY Sándor

NOVEMBER 30, 2006

Clinical Neuroscience - 2006;59(11-12)

[symptoms. In two thirds of the cases the cause is unknown, this is called “idiopathic peripheral facial palsy or Bell’s palsy”, but several different diseases have to be considered in the differential diagnosis. In this paper we reviewed the case histories of 110 patients treated for “peripheral facial palsy” in the Department of Neurology, Semmelweis University, Budapest in a five year period, 2000-2004. We studied the age, gender distribution, seasonal occurance, comorbidities, sidedness, symptoms, circumstances of referral to the hospital, the initial diagnoses and therapeutic options. We also discuss the probable causes and consequences of diagnostic failures. Results: the proportion of males and females was equal. There was no considerable difference between sexes regarding agedistribution. Of the 110 patients 106 was diagnosed with idiopathic Bell’s palsy, three cases with otic herpes zoster and one patient with Lyme disease. In our material, peripheral facial palsy was significantly more frequent in the cold period of late autumn, winter, and early spring. Diabetes mellitus and hypertension were more frequent than in the general population. 74% of the patients were admitted within two days from the onset of the symptoms. In 37% preliminary diagnosis was unavailable. In 15% cerebrovascular insult was the first, incorrect diagnosis, the correct diagnosis of “Bell’s palsy” was provided only in 16%. The probable causes of diagnostic failures may be the misleading symptoms and accompanying conditions. We examined the different therapies applied and reviewed the literature in this topic. We conclude that intravenous corticosteroid treatment in the early stage of the disease is the therapy of choice.]

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