Discover the most talked about and latest scientific content & concepts.

Concept: Bell's palsy


ABSTRACT OBJECTIVE: To review evidence published since the 2001 American Academy of Neurology (AAN) practice parameter regarding the effectiveness, safety, and tolerability of steroids and antiviral agents for Bell palsy. METHODS: We searched Medline and the Cochrane Database of Controlled Clinical Trials for studies published since January 2000 that compared facial functional outcomes in patients with Bell palsy receiving steroids/antivirals with patients not receiving these medications. We graded each study (Class I-IV) using the AAN therapeutic classification of evidence scheme. We compared the proportion of patients recovering facial function in the treated group with the proportion of patients recovering facial function in the control group. RESULTS: Nine studies published since June 2000 on patients with Bell palsy receiving steroids/antiviral agents were identified. Two of these studies were rated Class I because of high methodologic quality. CONCLUSIONS AND RECOMMENDATIONS: For patients with new-onset Bell palsy, steroids are highly likely to be effective and should be offered to increase the probability of recovery of facial nerve function (2 Class I studies, Level A) (risk difference 12.8%-15%). For patients with new-onset Bell palsy, antiviral agents in combination with steroids do not increase the probability of facial functional recovery by >7%. Because of the possibility of a modest increase in recovery, patients might be offered antivirals (in addition to steroids) (Level C). Patients offered antivirals should be counseled that a benefit from antivirals has not been established, and, if there is a benefit, it is likely that it is modest at best.

Concepts: Clinical trial, Virus, Evidence-based medicine, Cochrane Library, Antiviral drug, Antivirals, Facial nerve, Bell's palsy


The treatment of facial palsy is a complex and challenging area of plastic surgery. Two distinct anatomical regions and functions are the focus of interest when managing facial palsy: (1) reanimation of the eyelids and (2) reconstruction of the smile. This review will focus on the treatment of ocular manifestations of facial palsy. The principles of eyelid rehabilitation will be presented along with a discussion of surgical and nonsurgical treatment options.

Concepts: Hospital, Surgery, Plastic surgery, Reconstructive surgery, General surgery, Microsurgery, Blepharoplasty, Bell's palsy


OBJECTIVE: Malignant external otitis is a severe infection of the external auditory canal and skull base, which most often affects elderly patients with diabetes mellitus. This disease is still a serious disease associated with cranial nerve complications and high morbidity-mortality rate. Malignant otitis externa requires urgent diagnosis and treatment. The most effective treatment is to control the diabetes and to fight infection with the proper antibiotic and debridement necrotic tissue; sometimes, aggressive surgical management is done. We present our 5-year institutional experience in the management of this disease. The aim of this study was to present our experience with the management of malignant otitis externa. METHODS: All patients' records with malignant otitis externa during the last 5 years (2007-2012) were retrieved and reviewed. Diabetes mellitus profile, erythrocyte sedimentation rate, ear swab for culture and sensitivity, computed tomography, and scintigraphy using technetium 99 and gallium 67 were investigated for all patients. RESULTS: During the last 5 years (2007-2012), 10 patients with the diagnosis of malignant otitis externa were admitted to our clinic for investigation and treatment. There were 7 men and 3 women, all between 64 and 83 years of age, with severe persistent otalgia, purulent otorrhea, granulation tissue in the external auditory canal, and diffuse external otitis, and there were 4 patients with facial nerve palsy. Nine patients were confirmed to have a diabetes, and 4 of these 9 cases just had chronic renal failure and underwent dialysis; the remainder 1 case had no diabetes mellitus, but with chronic renal failure on dialysis. Ear swabs for culture and sensitivity usually revealed Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Local debridement and local and systemic antibiotic treatment were sufficient to control the disease. Facial nerve decompression was done in facial paralysis. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy was performed in facial nervy palsy cases. CONCLUSIONS: Malignant otitis externa is still a serious disease associated with cranial nerve complications and high morbidity-mortality rate. The most effective treatment is to control the diabetes and to fight infection with the proper antibiotic, debridement necrotic tissue, and sometimes aggressive surgical management. Monitoring of therapy response is done through normalization of erythrocyte sedimentation rate, control of diabetes mellitus, and improvement of computed tomography and radioisotope scanning.

Concepts: Oxygen, Renal failure, Medicine, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Cranial nerves, Ear, Otitis externa, Bell's palsy


Abstract Conclusion: The midline electroneurography (ENoG) method might reflect total facial nerve degeneration. Objective: We compared ENoG values in patients with facial palsy using two different methods, the midline method and five electroneurogram recordings, to reveal whether the ENoG value obtained with the midline method reflects total facial nerve degeneration. Methods: Forty patients with facial palsy were enrolled. Compound muscle action potentials (CMAPs) were recorded using the midline method, in which the anode was placed on the mental protuberance and the cathode was placed on the philtrum. Additionally, five electroneurogram recordings were obtained by placing the anode on the skin of the parietal region and five cathodes on the skin over five facial muscles (frontalis, orbicularis oculi, nasalis, orbicularis oris, and depressor anguli oris muscles). ENoG values recorded using the two methods were compared. Results: The ENoG values of the five facial muscles did not differ from those obtained using the midline method. The total ENoG value calculated by summing five CMAPs from five facial muscles, which is considered to reflect total facial nerve degeneration, was not significantly different from that using midline methods; moreover, a strong positive correlation coefficient (r = 0.87) was found between them.

Concepts: Cathode, Muscle, Correlation and dependence, Nerve, Facial nerve, Bell's palsy, Muscles of the head and neck, Orbicularis oris muscle


BACKGROUND: . Bell’s palsy (BP) is the most frequent form of peripheral palsy of the facial nerve. Prognosis for recovery is good for most patients; in the remaining cases, different grades of residual impairment persist. Physical therapy, in association with drug administration, aims to improve outcomes. OBJECTIVE: . To assess the efficacy of early physical therapy in association with standard drug administration versus pharmacological therapy only, in terms of time to maximum gains and grade of recovery of function, and to examine who will most benefit from rehabilitation. METHODS: . From June 2008 to May 2010, 232 individuals were evaluated. The 87 patients meeting the eligibility criteria were randomly assigned to the experimental group (prednisone and valacyclovir plus physical therapy, n = 39) or the control group (pharmacological therapy, n = 48) within 10 days of onset. Intention-to-treat analyses were done. RESULTS: . The physical therapy had a significant effect on grade (P = .038) and time (P = .044) to recovery only in patients presenting with severe facial palsy (House-Brackmann [HB] grade V/VI). No significant differences were found between the study and control groups for outcome of synkinesis. CONCLUSION: . Physical therapy appears to be effective only in the more severe BP (baseline HB grade V/VI), whereas less severe BP (baseline HB grade IV) results in complete spontaneous recovery, regardless of physical therapy.

Concepts: Controlling for a variable, Scientific control, Pharmacology, Randomized controlled trial, Effectiveness, Efficacy, Facial nerve, Bell's palsy


The aim of this study was to evaluate the accuracy of the Yanagihara facial nerve grading system in assessing the course of recovery and in determining the probability of a complete recovery of Bell’s palsy within 1 week after onset.

Concepts: Medical terms, Cranial nerves, Bell's palsy


Bell palsy is an acute affliction of the facial nerve, resulting in sudden paralysis or weakness of the muscles on one side of the face. Testing patients with unilateral facial paralysis for diabetes mellitus or Lyme disease is not routinely recommended. Patients with Lyme disease typically present with additional manifestations, such as arthritis, rash, or facial swelling. Diabetes may be a comorbidity of Bell palsy, but testing is not needed in the absence of other indications, such as hypertension. In patients with atypical symptoms, magnetic resonance imaging with contrast enhancement can be used to rule out cranial mass effect and to add prognostic value. Steroids improve resolution of symptoms in patients with Bell palsy and remain the preferred treatment. Antiviral agents have a limited role, and may improve outcomes when combined with steroids in patients with severe symptoms. When facial paralysis is prolonged, surgery may be indicated to prevent ocular desiccation secondary to incomplete eyelid closure. Facial nerve decompression is rarely indicated or performed. Physical therapy modalities, including electrostimulation, exercise, and massage, are neither beneficial nor harmful.

Concepts: Medical terms, Diabetes mellitus, Muscle, Magnetic resonance imaging, Lyme disease, Cranial nerves, Arthritis, Bell's palsy


Facial palsy is a debilitating condition entailing both cosmetic and functional limitations. Static suspension procedures can be performed when more advanced dynamic techniques are not indicated. Since 2006, we have used a double-layered palmaris longus tendon graft through an ovular skin excision in the nasolabial fold for access. The aim of this paper is to present our surgical technique and case series.

Concepts: Surgery, Cosmetics, Excision, Muscle relaxant, Neurological disorders, Bell's palsy, Functional programming, Nasolabial fold


This study evaluates the effect of incobotulinumtoxinA in the acute and chronic phases of facial nerve palsy after neurosurgical interventions.

Concepts: Medical terms, Cranial nerves, Bell's palsy


Incomplete recovery from facial palsy results in social and physical disabilities, and the medical options for the sequelae of Bell’s palsy are limited. Acupuncture is widely used for Bell’s palsy patients in East Asia, but its efficacy is unclear.

Concepts: Randomized controlled trial, Bell's palsy