[Consider the diagnosis 'Bell's palsy' carefully]
SourceNederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde, 163, (2019), article D2594
Article / Letter to editor
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Nederlands Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde
SubjectRadboudumc 10: Reconstructive and regenerative medicine RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences; Radboudumc 12: Sensory disorders DCMN: Donders Center for Medical Neuroscience; Radboudumc 9: Rare cancers RIHS: Radboud Institute for Health Sciences
Patients with facial palsy present with both cosmetic and functional symptoms. When a facial palsy develops quickly (within 72 hours) with no other symptoms, and no cause can be identified, it is probably an idiopathic facial palsy or 'Bell's palsy'. The diagnosis Bell's palsy is, thus, to a certain extent a diagnosis 'per exclusionem'. We present three cases with an incorrectly diagnosed Bell's palsy or inadequate diagnostics or treatment: a 5-year-old male with recurrent facial palsy caused by acute otitis media; a 46-year-old male with facial palsy caused by a malignant parotid tumour; and a 75-year-old female with facial palsy caused by a facial nerve schwannoma in the mastoid segment of the facial nerve. We, therefore, emphasize the importance of thorough history-taking and adequate diagnostics and imaging when patients present with facial palsy.
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