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January 1969

Facial Paralysis and Muscle Agenesis in the Newborn

Author Affiliations

From the Clinical Division, Institute of Otolaryngology, McGill University (Drs. McHugh and Levitt) and the Royal Victoria Hospital (Drs. McHugh, Sowden, and Levitt).

Arch Otolaryngol. 1969;89(1):131-143. doi:10.1001/archotol.1969.00770020133024

In RESPONSE to the need for accuracy in the differential diagnosis and prognosis of facial paralysis in the newborn, the appropriate electrodiagnostic tests have been performed under controlled general anesthesia. This method of evaluation has proven to be a practical solution to the recognized difficulties of early assessment of facial weakness in these infants; and the unexpected findings, in this study, have given rise to a new concept of the multiple causes of neonatal facial asymmetry. Among five cases investigated, one infant had complete unilateral facial paralysis, apparently due to birth or forceps trauma or both; the test results provided objective evidence, at 30 days of age, that complete recovery could be confidently expected, without surgical decompression of the facial nerve. Four infants had partial unilateral facial weakness, presumably due to birth trauma. The test results indicated an absence of the affected muscles in two cases, and a combination of

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