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May 13, 1974

Temporal Arteritis Heralded by Facial Nerve Palsy

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Neurology, College of Medicine, University of Vermont, Burlington.

JAMA. 1974;228(7):870-871. doi:10.1001/jama.1974.03230320040027

TO THE BEST of our knowledge, an association between facial nerve paralysis and temporal arteritis has not been reported previously. One such case in which temporal arteritis was heralded by the sudden onset of facial nerve paralysis is presented. Although we cannot rule out mere coincidence, we believe that the facial nerve impairment in this case represented the initial symptom of temporal arteritis.

Report of a Case  A 77-year-old white woman was admitted to the hospital on Oct 12, 1973, with a chief complaint of bilateral blurring of vision. The patient had been well until 12 weeks before admission when she developed complete motor paralysis on the right side of the face, associated with episodic retroauricular pain. Examination showed no other neurologic abnormalities, though taste and hearing were not tested. A diagnosis of facial nerve paralysis (Bell palsy) was made, and the patient's condition improved considerably over the next two