Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Laryngoscope. 2000 Mar;110(3 Pt 1):335-41.

Corticosteroid treatment for idiopathic facial nerve paralysis: a meta-analysis.

Author information

  • 1Tripler Army Medical Center, Honolulu, Hawaii 96859, USA.



A meta-analysis was designed to evaluate facial recovery in patients with complete idiopathic facial nerve paralysis (IFNP) by comparing outcomes of those treated with corticosteroid therapy with outcomes of those treated with placebo or no treatment.


Meta-analysis of prospective trials evaluating corticosteroid therapy for idiopathic facial nerve paralysis.


A protocol was followed outlining methods for trial selection, data extraction, and statistical analysis. A MEDLINE search of the English language literature was performed to identify clinical trials evaluating steroid treatment of IFNP. Three independent observers used an eight-point analysis to determine inclusion criteria. Data analysis was limited to individuals with clinically complete IFNP. The endpoints measured were clinically complete or incomplete facial motor recovery. Effect magnitude and significance were evaluated by calculating the rate difference and Fisher's Exact Test P value. Pooled analysis was performed with a random effects model.


Forty-seven trials were identified. Of those, 27 were prospective and 20 retrospective. Three prospective trials met the inclusion criteria Tests of heterogeneity indicate the trial with the smallest sample size (RD = -0.19; 95% CI, -0.58-0.20), to be an outlier. It was excluded from the final analysis. Analyses of data from the remaining two studies indicate corticosteroid treatment improves complete facial motor recovery for individuals with complete IFNP. Rate difference demonstrates a 17% (990% CI, 0.01-0.32) improvement in clinically complete recovery for the treatment group based on the random effects model.


Corticosteroid treatment provides a clinically and statistically significant improvement in recovery of function in complete IFNP.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Wiley
    Loading ...
    Support Center