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    Several cases of facial nerve paralysis (FNP) post-COVID-19 infection have been reported with varying presentations and management. This study aims to identify FNP clinical characteristics and recovery outcomes among patients acutely infected with COVID-19. We hypothesize that FNP is a potentially unique sequalae associated with COVID-19 infections. A systematic review of PubMed-Medline, OVID Embase, and Web of Science databases from inception to November 2021 was conducted following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses guidelines. This search identified 630 studies with 53 meeting inclusion criteria. This resulted in 72 patients, of which 30 (42%) were diagnosed with Guillain-Barré Syndrome (GBS). Non-GBS patients were on average younger (36 vs. 53 years) and more likely to present with unilateral FNP (88%) compared to GBS patients who presented predominantly with bilateral FNP (74%). Among non-GBS patients, majority (70%) of FNP presented a median of 8 [IQR 10] days after the onset of initial COVID-19 symptom(s). Treatment for non-GBS patients consisted of steroids (60%), antivirals (29%), antibiotics (21%), and no treatment (21%). Complete FNP recovery in non-GBS patients was achieved in 67% patients within a median of 11 [IQR 24] days. FNP is a possible presentation post COVID-19 infections, associated with both GBS and non-GBS patients. Although no causation can be assumed, the clinical course of isolated FNP associated with COVID-19 raises the possibility of a unique presentation differing from Bell's palsy, seen with higher proportion of patients developing bilateral FNP and a shorter duration to complete recovery. Laryngoscope, 133:1007-1013, 2023. © 2022 The American Laryngological, Rhinological and Otological Society, Inc.


    Amirpouyan Namavarian, Anas Eid, Hedyeh Ziai, Emily YiQin Cheng, Danny Enepekides. Facial Nerve Paralysis and COVID-19: A Systematic Review. The Laryngoscope. 2023 May;133(5):1007-1013

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    PMID: 35938708

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