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Bilateral simultaneous facial paralysis--differential diagnosis and treatment options. A case report and review of literature.

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By Gevers G, Lemkens P • www.ProHealth.com • January 1, 2003


Abstract

Bilateral facial paralysis or paresis of peripheral origin is a rare condition and therefore represents a diagnostic challenge. We here present a case of a previously healthy woman who was hospitalized for symptoms of meningitis. On the second day of her hospital stay, she developed bilateral facial paresis. Later, the patient developed also tachycardia and dysrhythmias. A thorough diagnostic procedure including lumbar puncture, routine blood investigation with serological tests, MRI of the brain, Holter monitoring and transoesophageal echocardiographia, revealed meningitis with radiculitis, facial paresis and myocarditis. The clinical triad of meningitis, radiculitis and facial palsy is known as the Bannwarth Syndrome ( Lyme disease). The patient was treated with ceftriaxone and recovered well. Despite repeatedly taken serological tests, Borrelia burgdorferi immunoglobulins were not detected. Acquired bilateral facial paralysis can occur in several diseases of infectious, neurological, idiopathic, iatrogenic, toxic, neoplastic or traumatic origin. In this article, we review the differential diagnoses and treatment options of bilateral facial paresis and present a scheme that is helpful in the diagnostic evaluation of this condition.

Acta Otorhinolaryngol Belg. 2003;57(2):139-46. Case Reports; Review





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