Skip to main content Accessibility help

Clinical features and management of facial nerve paralysis in children: analysis of 24 cases

  • H E Cha (a1), M K Baek (a1), J H Yoon (a1), B K Yoon (a1), M J Kim (a1) and J H Lee (a1)...



To evaluate the causes, treatment modalities and recovery rate of paediatric facial nerve paralysis.

Materials and methods:

We analysed 24 cases of paediatric facial nerve paralysis diagnosed in the otolaryngology department of Gachon University Gil Medical Center between January 2001 and June 2006.


The most common cause was idiopathic palsy (16 cases, 66.7 per cent). The most common degree of facial nerve paralysis on first presentation was House–Brackmann grade IV (15 of 24 cases). All cases were treated with steroids. One of the 24 cases was also treated surgically with facial nerve decompression. Twenty-two cases (91.6 per cent) recovered to House–Brackmann grade I or II over the six-month follow-up period.


Facial nerve paralysis in children can generally be successfully treated with conservative measures. However, in cases associated with trauma, radiological investigation is required for further evaluation and treatment.


Corresponding author

Address for correspondence: Ju Hyoung Lee, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Gil Medical Center, Gachon University, 1198, Guwol 1(il)-dong, Namdong-gu, Incheon 405-760, Republic of Korea. E-mail:


Hide All
1 May, M. The Facial Nerve. New York: Thieme, 1986;6374, 421–40, 549–59
2 Jonkees, LBW. On peripheral facial nerve paralysis. Arch Otolaryngol 1972;95:315–23
3 Hughes, GB. Practical management of Bell's palsy. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 1990;102:658–63
4 Dickins, JR, Smith, JT, Graham, SS. Herpes zoster oticus: treatment with intravenous acyclovir. Laryngoscope 1988;98:776–9
5 Salman, MS, MacGregor, DL. Should children with Bell's palsy be treated with corticosteroid? A systemic review. J Child Neurol 2001;16:565–8
6 May, M, Fria, TJ, Blumenthal, F, Curtin, H. Facial paralysis in children: different diagnosis. Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg 1981;89:841–8
7 Evans, AK, Licameli, G, Brietzke, S, Whittemore, K, Kenna, M. Pediatric facial nerve paralysis: patients, management and outcomes. Pediatric Otorhinolaryngology 2005;69:1521–8
8 Hong, CK, Byun, JY, Yeo, SG, Cha, CI, Park, MS. Clinical analysis of facial palsy in child. Korean Journal Otolaryngology Head Neck Surgery 2007;50:102–7
9 Park, CW, Ahn, KS, Choi, SJ, Muhn, DS. A clinical study of facial nerve paralysis. Korean Journal Otolaryngology Head Neck Surgery 1998;41:430–5
10 Danielidis, V, Skevas, A, Van Cauwenberge, P, Vinck, B. A comparative study of age and degree of facial nerve recovery in patients with Bell's palsy. Eur Arch Otorhinolaryngol 1999;256:520–2
11 Engström, M, Berg, T, Stjernquist-Desatnik, A, Axelsson, S, Pitkäranta, A, Hultcrantz, M et al. Prednisolone and valaciclovir in Bell's palsy: a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled, multicentre trial. Lancet Neurol 2008;7:9931000
12 Sullivan, FM, Swan, IRC, Donnan, PT, Morrison, JM, Smith, BH, McKinstry, B et al. Early treatment with prednisolone or acyclovir in Bell's palsy. N Engl J Med 2007;357:1598–607
13 Adour, KK, Byl, FM, Hilsinger, RL Jr, Kahn, ZM, Sheldon, MI. The true nature of Bell's palsy: analysis of 1,000 consecutive patients. Laryngoscope 1978;88:787801
14 May, M, Wette, R, Hardin, WB Jr, Sullivan, J. The use of steroids in Bell's palsy: a prospective controlled study. Laryngoscope 1976;86:1111–22
15 Fisch, U. Total facial nerve decompression and electroneurography. In: Silverstein, H, Norrell, H, eds. Neurological Surgery of the Ear. Birmingham, Alabama: Aesculapius Publishing, 1977;2133
16 Furuta, Y, Ohtani, F, Aizawa, H, Fukuda, S, Kawabata, H, Bergstrom, T. Varicella-zoster virus reactivation is an important cause of acute peripheral facial paralysis in children. Pediatr Infect Dis J 2005;24:97101
17 Hato, N, Kisaki, H, Honda, N, Gyo, K, Murakami, S, Yanagihara, N. Ramsay Hunt syndrome in children. Ann Neurol 2000;48:254–6
18 Makeham, TP, Croxson, GR, Coulson, S. Infective causes of facial nerve paralysis. Otol Neurotol 2007;28:100–3
19 Ulug, T, Arif Ulubil, S. Management of facial paralysis in temporal bone fractures: a prospective study analyzing 11 operated fractures. Am J Otolaryngol 2005;26:230–8
20 Yeoh, TL, Mahmud, R, Saim, L. Surgical intervention in traumatic facial nerve paralysis. Med J Malaysia 2003;58:432–6


Clinical features and management of facial nerve paralysis in children: analysis of 24 cases

  • H E Cha (a1), M K Baek (a1), J H Yoon (a1), B K Yoon (a1), M J Kim (a1) and J H Lee (a1)...


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed