Herpes zoster oticus: A rare clinical entity

Shailesh Gondivkar, Viren Parikh, Rima Parikh
Contemporary Clinical Dentistry 2010, 1 (2): 127-9
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Herpes zoster oticus also known as Ramsay Hunt syndrome is a rare complication of herpes zoster in which reactivation of latent varicella zoster virus infection in the geniculate ganglion causes otalgia, auricular vesicles, and peripheral facial paralysis. Ramsay Hunt syndrome is rare in children and affects both sexes equally. Incidence and clinical severity increases when host immunity is compromised. Because these symptoms do not always present at the onset, this syndrome can be misdiagnosed. Although secondary to Bell's palsy in terms of the cause of acute atraumatic peripheral facial paralysis, Ramsay Hunt syndrome, with incidence ranged from 0.3 to 18%, has a worse prognosis. Herpes zoster oticus accounts for about 12% cases of facial palsy, which is usually unilateral and complete and full recovery occurs in only about 20% of untreated patients. The most advisable method to treat Ramsay Hunt syndrome is the combination therapy with acyclovir and prednisone but still not promising, and several prerequisites are required for better results. We present a case of 32-year-old man suffering from Ramsay Hunt syndrome with grade V facial palsy treated effectively with rehabilitation program, after the termination of the combination therapy of acyclovir and prednisone.

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