High prevalence of varicella-zoster virus reactivation in herpes simplex virus-seronegative patients with acute peripheral facial palsy.
Varicella-zoster virus (VZV) and herpes simplex virus (HSV) are considered to be the major causes of acute peripheral facial palsy (APFP). One hundred and forty-two patients with APFP were analyzed by serological assays and polymerase chain reaction analysis. Ramsay Hunt syndrome was diagnosed in 21 patients. Of the remaining 121 patients clinically diagnosed with Bell's palsy, VZV reactivation without zoster (zoster sine herpete) was detected in 35 patients (29%). The prevalence of antibodies to HSV among patients with Bell's palsy was significantly higher than the prevalence among those with VZV reactivation (Ramsay Hunt syndrome or zoster sine herpete). In contrast, a high incidence (88%) of VZV reactivation among HSV-seronegative patients with APFP was observed. Our data indicate that VZV is one of the major etiologic agents of clinically diagnosed Bell's palsy and that VZV reactivation causes APFP in most patients who lack antibodies to HSV. (+info)
Detection of human herpesvirus 6 and varicella-zoster virus in tear fluid of patients with Bell's palsy by PCR.
Human herpesvirus 6 DNA was detected by PCR in the tear fluid of 7 (35%) of 20 patients with Bell's palsy and of 1 (5%) of 20 healthy controls. Varicella-zoster virus was detected by PCR in the tear fluid of 2 of 20 Bell's palsy patients but in none of the tear fluids from 20 healthy controls. These findings suggest an association between human herpesviruses and Bell's palsy. (+info)
Ramsay Hunt syndrome.
The strict definition of the Ramsay Hunt syndrome is peripheral facial nerve palsy accompanied by an erythematous vesicular rash on the ear (zoster oticus) or in the mouth. J Ramsay Hunt, who described various clinical presentations of facial paralysis and rash, also recognised other frequent symptoms and signs such as tinnitus, hearing loss, nausea, vomiting, vertigo, and nystagmus. He explained these eighth nerve features by the close proximity of the geniculate ganglion to the vestibulocochlear nerve within the bony facial canal. Hunt's analysis of clinical variations of the syndrome now bearing his name led to his recognition of the general somatic sensory function of the facial nerve and his defining of the geniculate zone of the ear. It is now known that varicella zoster virus (VZV) causes Ramsay Hunt syndrome. Compared with Bell's palsy (facial paralysis without rash), patients with Ramsay Hunt syndrome often have more severe paralysis at onset and are less likely to recover completely. Studies suggest that treatment with prednisone and acyclovir may improve outcome, although a prospective randomised treatment trial remains to be undertaken. In the only prospective study of patients with Ramsay Hunt syndrome, 14% developed vesicles after the onset of facial weakness. Thus, Ramsay Hunt syndrome may initially be indistinguishable from Bell's palsy. Further, Bell's palsy is significantly associated with herpes simplex virus (HSV) infection. In the light of the known safety and effectiveness of antiviral drugs against VZV or HSV, consideration should be given to early treatment of all patients with Ramsay Hunt syndrome or Bell's palsy with a 7-10 day course of famciclovir (500 mg, three times daily) or acyclovir (800 mg, five times daily), as well as oral prednisone (60 mg daily for 3-5 days). Finally, some patients develop peripheral facial paralysis without ear or mouth rash, associated with either a fourfold rise in antibody to VZV or the presence of VZV DNA in auricular skin, blood mononuclear cells, middle ear fluid, or saliva. This indicates that a proportion of patients with "Bell's palsy" have Ramsay Hunt syndrome zoster sine herpete. Treatment of these patients with acyclovir and prednisone within 7 days of onset has been shown to improve the outcome of recovery from facial palsy. (+info)
Symptomatic unruptured capillary telangiectasia of the brain stem: report of three cases and review of the literature.
Three young patients with transient or intermittent focal neurological signs suggesting brain stem involvement are described, in whom high field MRI showed focal areas of hyperintensity in T2 weighted spin echo images, hypointensity in T2* weighted gradient echo images, and enhancement in postcontrast T1 weighted images consistent with unruptured capillary telangiectasia of the brain stem. The first patient was a 28 year old woman who complained of recurrent left ear tinnitus, exacerbated during the menstrual period; MRI demonstrated that the vascular anomaly involved the left acoustic pathway. The second patient was a 30 year old woman who had three episodes of paroxysmal left lip movement 4 weeks after child delivery; MRI showed capillary telangiectasia in the right corticonuclear pathway. The third patient, a 36 year old man, had a transient right Bell's palsy; MRI disclosed two circumscribed areas consistent with capillary telangiectasia in the left corticospinal tract and medial longitudinal fasciculus. Steroid receptors in the telangiectatic vessels walls might account for the recurrent and transient course seen in our two female patients. Awareness of the MRI features of capillary telangiectasia may help in defining the real incidence, clinical correlation, and the risk of haemorrhagic complications of these vascular malformations. (+info)
Weather conditions and Bell's palsy: five-year study and review of the literature.
BACKGROUND: Climatic or meteorological condition changes have been implicated in the pathogenesis of Bell's palsy (BP). We evaluate the influence of meteorological parameters, such as temperature, humidity, and atmospheric pressure, and their variation and covariation on the incidence of BP and present a review of the literature on the effect of meteorological conditions on facial nerve function. METHODS: A total of 171 cases of BP admitted to our Department over a five-year period were studied. The meteorological database included daily values of 13 distinct parameters recorded at the meteorological station of the University of Ioannina during this period. A relationship between each meteorological variable and the incidence of BP was investigated by applying (Chi2) test on data from 13 contingency tables. In addition, the influence of different weather types on the incidence of BP was also investigated. For this purpose Cluster Analysis was used to create eight clusters (weather types) for the Ioannina prefecture and (Chi2) test was applied on the contingency tables consisting of the days of BP cases for each cluster. RESULTS: No significant correlation was found either between BP and each distinct meteorological parameter or between BP and any specific weather. CONCLUSIONS: Meteorological conditions, such as those dominating in the Northwestern Greece, and/or their changes have little effect on the incidence of BP. Multicenter studies taking into account atmospheric pollution, and climatic differences between countries, are necessary to scrutinize the environmental effects on facial nerve function. (+info)
Botulinum toxin treatment for hyperlacrimation secondary to aberrant regenerated seventh nerve palsy or salivary gland transplantation.
AIM: To investigate the potential of botulinum toxin A for treating hyperlacrimation. METHODS: Three patients with unilateral symptoms of hyperlacrimation (diagnosed as "crocodile tearing") and one patient with a submandibular salivary gland transplant (SMGT) were studied. Tear production was quantified in the resting and stimulated (chewing or following exercise) state, using Schirmer's test and tear clearance. Lacrimal scintigraphy was used to assess outflow. Intraglandular injections (for patients with "crocodile tears") or periglandular injections (for the SMGT patient) of Dysport were administered in divided doses. RESULTS: Two of the three eyes with reported gustatory lacrimation had a higher Schirmer test result than their fellow eye following gustatory stimulation. Scintigraphy, with and without stimulation, confirmed a patent drainage system in these patients. The other patient demonstrated a functional obstruction to tear flow. After treatment patients with confirmed gustatory lacrimation and the SMGT patient had a marked reduction in tearing at 2 weeks. This effect lasted 3-4 months. There was no demonstrable improvement in the patient with epiphora secondary to functional obstruction. Two patients who had received intraglandular injections developed a ptosis, which resolved spontaneously. CONCLUSIONS: This study illustrates that gustatory lacrimation is a difficult diagnosis. In post-facial nerve palsy a functional element must always be considered. However, in confirmed hyperlacrimation botulinum toxin treatment is effective but side effects may occur. (+info)
Association between Bell's palsy in pregnancy and pre-eclampsia.
BACKGROUND: Previous published case series have suggested an association between the onset of Bell's palsy in pregnancy and the risk of pre-eclampsia and gestational hypertension. AIM: To evaluate the period of onset of Bell's palsy in pregnancy and the associated risk of adverse maternal and perinatal events, including the hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. STUDY DESIGN: Case series study of consecutive female patients. METHODS: Women presenting with Bell's palsy during pregnancy or the puerperium were identified by a hospital record review at five Canadian centres over 11 years. Information was abstracted about each woman's medical and obstetrical history, period of onset of Bell's palsy, and associated maternal complications, including pre-eclampsia and gestational hypertension as well as preterm delivery and low infant birth weight (<2500 g). These rates were compared to those previously described for the province of Ontario or for Canada. RESULTS: Forty-one patients were identified. Mean onset of Bell's palsy was 35.4 weeks gestation (SD 3.9). Nine (22.0%, 95%CI 10.8-35.7) were also diagnosed with pre-eclampsia and three (7.3%, 95%CI 1.4-17.1) with gestational hypertension, together (29.3%, 95%CI 16.5-43.9) representing nearly a five-fold increase over the expected provincial/national average. There were three twin births. The observed rates of Caesarean (43.6%) and preterm (25.6%) delivery, as well as low infant birth weight (22.7%), were also higher than expected, although the rate of congenital anomalies (4.5%) was not. CONCLUSIONS: The onset of Bell's palsy during pregnancy or the puerperium is probably associated with the development of the hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. Pregnant women who develop Bell's palsy should be closely monitored for hypertension or pre-eclampsia, and managed accordingly. (+info)
Effects of climate, latitude, and season on the incidence of Bell's palsy in the US Armed Forces, October 1997 to September 1999.
Bell's palsy is a relatively common disease characterized by the sudden onset of unilateral facial paralysis. Using a centralized surveillance system that contains demographic, military assignment, and medical encounter data of US military service members, the authors estimated rates, trends, and demographic correlates of risk of Bell's palsy during a 2-year period. Poisson regression was used to estimate the independent effects of climate, season, and latitude. From October 1997 to September 1999, there were 1,181 incident cases of Bell's palsy among US service members. The crude incidence rate was 42.77 per 100,000 person-years. Incidence rates increased with age and were higher among females, Blacks, Hispanics, married persons, and enlisted service members. Both climate (adjusted rate ratio for arid vs. nonarid climate = 1.34) and season (adjusted rate ratio for cold vs. warm months = 1.31) were independent predictors of risk of Bell's palsy. Latitude was not a statistically significant predictor when demographic, climate, and season effects were taken into account. The results are consistent with hypotheses regarding viral etiologies (e.g., reactivation of herpes simplex) of Bell's palsy. (+info)