[A case of Ramsay Hunt syndrome initiated with hoarseness and dysphagia: consideration on spreading mechanisms of cranial neuropathy]

Rinsho Shinkeigaku. 2002 Sep;42(9):855-8.
[Article in Japanese]


A 85-year-old woman was admitted to our hospital because of progressive hoarseness and dysphagia of two days' duration. Neurological examination on admission revealed right pharyngeal and vocal cord palsies. After admission, gradual swelling of her right ear was noted, and on day 6, vesicular eruptions in her right geniculate zone, the right VII and the VIIIth cranial nerve palsies were added. On the basis of these findings, she was diagnosed as Ramsay Hunt syndrome. Varicella zoster virus (VZV) infection was confirmed by the elevation of serum anti-VZV-antibody titer, and detection of VZV DNA from cerebrospinal fluid. Ramsay Hunt syndrome associated with multiple cranial neuropathy is not frequently reported. Reviewing Japanese literatures, we found that the IX and the Xth cranial nerves were most frequently affected, and the half of these cases were initiated with cranial neuropathy other than the VIIth. Additionally, spreading mechanisms of cranial neuropathy, and the early diagnostic problems of these conditions were discussed.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Antibodies, Viral / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Biomarkers / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Cranial Nerve Diseases / etiology
  • Cranial Nerve Diseases / virology
  • DNA, Viral / cerebrospinal fluid
  • Deglutition Disorders / etiology*
  • Female
  • Herpes Zoster Oticus / complications*
  • Herpes Zoster Oticus / diagnosis
  • Herpesvirus 3, Human / genetics
  • Herpesvirus 3, Human / immunology
  • Hoarseness / etiology*
  • Humans


  • Antibodies, Viral
  • Biomarkers
  • DNA, Viral