The natural history of facial paralysis in herpes zoster

Clin Otolaryngol Allied Sci. 1988 Aug;13(4):289-98. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2273.1988.tb01134.x.


A group of 102 patients with facial palsy caused by herpes zoster was studied in order to determine the course and prognosis without treatment. In most cases, the eruption and the paralysis appeared at the same time. The maximal degree of loss of function was usually reached within 1 week and was clearly related to the age of the patient. Recovery was better when the vesicles preceded complete loss of function. Complete recovery was achieved in about 10% of patients after a complete loss of function and in about 66% after an incomplete loss.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Facial Muscles / physiopathology
  • Facial Nerve / physiopathology
  • Facial Paralysis / etiology*
  • Facial Paralysis / physiopathology
  • Female
  • Herpes Zoster / complications*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prognosis
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Synaptic Transmission
  • Time Factors