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Ann Rehabil Med. 2012 Feb;36(1):167-70. doi: 10.5535/arm.2012.36.1.167. Epub 2012 Feb 29.

A case of cephalic tetanus with unilateral ptosis and facial palsy.

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Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, College of Medicine, Dankook University, Cheonan 330-715, Korea.


Cephalic tetanus is defined as a combination of trismus and paralysis of one or more cranial nerves. Cranial nerves III, IV, VI, VII, and XII may be affected, but the facial nerve is most frequently implicated. A 64-year-old female visited hospital for left ptosis followed by facial palsy after a left forehead abrasion in a car accident. At nine days post injury, left ptosis developed, left facial palsy developed twelve days post injury, and at fifteen days post injury, trismus and dysphagia developed. The following day, there was progression of symptoms to generalized tetanus, such as dyspnea and generalized rigidity. Videofluoroscopic swallow study showed penetration and aspiration. We report a case of cephalic tetanus with ptosis, facial palsy, and dysphagia, which progressed to generalized tetanus.


Cephalic tetanus; Facial palsy; Ptosis

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