[Skip to Navigation]
February 1981

Bell's Palsy and Herpes Simplex Virus

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Virology, Institute of Medical Microbiology (Drs Vahlne and Lycke), and the Department of Otolaryngology, Sahlgren's Hospital (Drs Edström Beran, Ejnell, and Nylén The University of Göteborg, Sweden; and the Department of Virology, the University of Turku, Finland (Dr Arstila).

Arch Otolaryngol. 1981;107(2):79-81. doi:10.1001/archotol.1981.00790380009003

• The possible association of some viral infections with the onset of Bell's palsy was examined in a study of 142 patients. The number of probable recent viral infections, as judged by increase in antibody titers or presence of IgM antibodies, did not differ statistically from that found in a sex- and age-matched control group. However, a higher prevalence of herpes simplex virus (HSV) antibodies was found in the patient group with both a complement-fixation (CF) test and a radioimmunoassay (RIA). Moreover, titers of HSV CF antibodies and antibodies against HSV envelope antigens (RIA) were higher in the patient group. The possibility of reactivated HSV infection and transient demyelination of the facial nerve being causatively associated with Bell's palsy is discussed.

(Arch Otolaryngol 107:79-81, 1981)

Add or change institution