Polymerase chain reaction amplification of herpes simplex viral DNA from the geniculate ganglion of a patient with Bell's palsy

Ann Otol Rhinol Laryngol. 1994 Oct;103(10):775-9. doi: 10.1177/000348949410301006.


Bell's palsy is the most common cause of facial paralysis. In this study, we demonstrate the presence of herpes simplex viral type 1 (HSV-1) genomic DNA in the geniculate ganglion of a patient who had Bell's palsy. This association suggests that in this patient, HSV-1 may have caused Bell's palsy. If HSV-1 is a cause of Bell's palsy, treatment with acyclovir may be beneficial. Additional studies should be done to establish the prevalence of HSV-1 as an etiologic agent of Bell's palsy.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Autopsy
  • Cerebral Arteries / physiopathology
  • Cerebral Infarction / complications
  • DNA, Viral / isolation & purification*
  • Facial Nerve / ultrastructure
  • Facial Nerve / virology
  • Facial Paralysis / virology*
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Gene Amplification
  • Geniculate Ganglion / virology*
  • Herpesvirus 1, Human / chemistry*
  • Herpesvirus 1, Human / isolation & purification
  • Humans
  • Lymphocytes / ultrastructure
  • Lymphocytes / virology
  • Male
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Temporal Bone / virology


  • DNA, Viral