Bilateral Facial Palsy: A Rare Presenting Symptom for Inclusion Body Myositis

Ophthalmic Plast Reconstr Surg. 2024 Feb 2. doi: 10.1097/IOP.0000000000002623. Online ahead of print.


Inclusion body myositis is a common type of inflammatory myopathy among populations over the age of 50 years, classically presenting with weakness and atrophy of the forearms and quadriceps. While a third of patients may eventually present with mild facial weakness, findings of ptosis, facial palsy, or involvement of extraocular muscles are rarely, if ever, seen. The authors describe a unique case of inclusion body myositis in which a patient initially presented with bilateral severe facial palsy and exposure keratitis but minimal limb weakness. While midface weakness, unilateral lagophthalmos, and ptosis have been documented in one reported case, key presenting symptoms of bilateral facial palsy and symmetric paralytic lagophthalmos with corneal exposure have not been presented before. Therefore, this case serves as an important reminder to consider the inclusion body myositis in the differential diagnosis of bilateral facial palsy.