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Korean Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology 2009;52(4):407-412.
Published online April 1, 2009.
Clinical analysis of Bell's palsy in pregnancy.
Kyung Do Ki, Jae Yong Byun, Sang Hoon Kim, Dong Wha Song, Kee Hwan Kwon, Moon Suh Park
1Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, East-West Neo Medical Center, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea.
2Department of Otorhinolaryngology-Head and Neck surgery, East-West Neo Medical Center, Kyung Hee University, Seoul, Korea. otorhino512@naver.com
Although Bell's palsy is not common in pregnancy, it is more prevalent among pregnant women than among non-pregnant women. Since the exact clinical characteristics of this condition are not fully understood, we evaluated the epidemiology, pathophysiology, onset time, as well as the recovery rate according to treatment modality of Bell's palsy in pregnancy, and compared them to those of the non-pregnant population in this study. METHODS: Between March 1996 and February 2006, we identified 43 patients who suffered from Bell's palsy during pregnancy and postpartum with a minimum 6 month follow up at Kyung Hee University Hospital. We conducted retrospective medical records analysis and compared them to similary chosen Bell's palsy case in non pregnant women who were matched for age. RESULTS: The median gestational age at the onset of Bell's palsy was 32 weeks. Among the 43 patients who had been diagnosed with Bell's palsy in pregnancy, 81.4% (35 of 43) showed a satisfactory outcome. Among the 36 patients with complete palsy, 77.8% (28 of 36) showed a satisfactory recovery. Recovery rate according to treatment modality in pregnant patients with Bell's palsy were 28/35 (80.0%) in the acupuncture group, 3/3 (100%) in the steroid therapy group, and 4/5 (80.0%) in the combined acupuncture and steroid therapy group, respectively. CONCLUSION: We did not detect any difference in clinical characteristics of Bell's palsy in the pregnant group compared with the non-pregnant group. Further study will be needed to select the method of treatment for Bell's palsy in pregnant women.
Key Words: Bell's palsy, Pregnancy, Postpartum period, Prognosis

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