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J Med Virol. 1998 Mar;54(3):162-6.

Reactivation of herpes simplex virus type 1 in patients with Bell's palsy.

Author information

1
Department of Otolaryngology, Hokkaido University School of Medicine, Sapporo, Japan.

Abstract

Reactivation of herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) has been implicated in the pathogenesis of idiopathic peripheral facial palsy (Bell's palsy). The present study used the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) to analyze the saliva of patients with Bell's palsy for the presence of shed HSV-1. The study involved 47 patients with Bell's palsy, 24 patients with Ramsay Hunt syndrome, and 16 healthy HSV-seropositive volunteers. HSV-1 DNA was not detected in the saliva samples from HSV-seronegative patients. The prevalence of shed HSV-1 in patients with Bell's palsy (50%) was significantly higher than that in healthy volunteers (19%, p<0.05). When saliva samples were tested within 7 days after the onset of palsy, the prevalence of shed HSV-1 in patients with Bell's palsy (40%) was significantly higher than that in patients with Ramsay Hunt syndrome (7%, p<0.05). Furthermore, HSV-1 usually became undetectable by the second week after the onset of Bell's palsy when HSV-1 was detected during the acute phase of the disease. These findings strongly suggest that reactivation of HSV-1 is involved in the pathogenesis Bell's palsy, and indicate that PCR is a useful tool for early diagnosis of HSV-1 reactivation in patients with Bell's palsy.

PMID:
9515763
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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