Ramsay Hunt syndrome

J Dtsch Dermatol Ges. 2012 Apr;10(4):238-44. doi: 10.1111/j.1610-0387.2012.07894.x. Epub 2012 Mar 19.
[Article in English, German]


Ramsay Hunt syndrome is defined as herpes zoster oticus associated with an acute peripheral facial nerve paresis and quite often with other cranial nerve lesions. The combination of motor, sensory and autonomic involvement leads to a variety of neurological damage patterns, i. e. facial muscle paresis, hearing and balance disorders, sensory problems and disturbances of taste as well as lacrimal and nasal secretion. Additional variability of the clinical picture of Ramsay Hunt syndrome is produced by varying patterns of skin involvement explained by individual anastomoses between cranial and cervical nerves. Knowledge of these findings and an early diagnosis of Ramsay Hunt syndrome are important as prognosis of cranial nerve damage depends on the time at which acyclovir-corticosteroid therapy is started.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acyclovir / therapeutic use*
  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones / therapeutic use*
  • Antiviral Agents / therapeutic use
  • Herpes Zoster Oticus / diagnosis*
  • Herpes Zoster Oticus / drug therapy*
  • Humans


  • Adrenal Cortex Hormones
  • Antiviral Agents
  • Acyclovir