Unlu Z, Aslan A, Ozbakkaloglu B, Tunger O, Surucuoglu S: Serologic examinations of hepatitis, cytomegalovirus, and rubella in patients with Bell’s palsy. Am J Phys Med Rehabil 2003;82:28–32.
Objective: The aim of this retrospective case review was to investigate serologic evidence of cytomegalovirus, rubella virus, and hepatitis A, B, and C viruses in patients with Bell’s palsy.
Design: A total of 24 patients with idiopathic facial paralysis, without a history of trauma, any evidence of a tumor on high-resolution computed tomographic imaging, or any otologic disease, and 33 healthy individuals as a control group were included in this study. Facial paralysis of the patient was evaluated with the House-Brackmann grading scale. Specific immunoglobulin G and M titers were determined for cytomegalovirus, rubella, hepatitis A, hepatitis B, and hepatitis C by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay.
Results: Serologic positivity for hepatitis B was found in 15 of 21 Bell’s palsy patients, compared with 32.1% in the control group. The difference was statistically significant. There was no difference in the prevalence of serologic positivity for cytomegalovirus, hepatitis A, and rubella between the patient and control groups. In one Bell’s palsy patient, serologic evidence of recent cytomegalovirus infection was indicated by changes in antibody titers between samples taken on presentation and on the 16th day. There was no serologic evidence of hepatitis C in either Bell’s palsy patients or the control group.
Conclusion: There seems to be an association between hepatitis B and idiopathic facial paralysis. In addition, cytomegalovirus might contribute to the development of Bell’s palsy in some ceases with Bell’s palsy. Further studies are required to confirm these data.
From the Departments of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (ZU), Otorhinolaryngology (AA), and Infectious Disease and Clinical Microbiology (BO, OT, SS), Celal Bayar University, Manisa, Turkey.
All correspondence and requests for reprints should be addressed to Zeliha Unlu, MD, Faculty, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Posta Kutusu 141, Manisa 45010, Turkey.