Wegener’s granulomatosis presenting with bilateral facial nerve palsy
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Primary manifestation of Wegener’s granulomatosis in the mucosa of the middle ear is rather rare, and has been reported as presenting with serous otitis media, chronic otitis media, sensorineural hearing loss, and, in rare instances, unilateral facial palsy. Bilateral facial palsy has never been reported. This last fact constitutes the interest in our report of a 23-year-old female patient who presented with symptoms of recurrent bilateral otitis media, eventually developing sensorineural hearing loss and bilateral facial palsy. Soon thereafter neurological symptoms appeared and lung extension was noted. Histological examination of repeated biopsies taken from the nasal and middle ear mucosa was not conclusive for the suspected disease, and c-ANCA titers were also initially repeatedly negative. Eventually, positive lung biopsy and elevated c-ANCA titers when the patient had developed pulmonary granulomas confirmed the diagnosis of Wegener’s granulomatosis. Mastoid surgery with facial nerve decompression of the most severely afflicted side did not result in the recovery of facial nerve function. Medical therapy with corticosteroids and cyclophosphamide improved the clinical picture but were ineffective in improving the bilateral sensorineural hearing loss and the facial paralysis on the operated side. We would contribute to the literature a unique case of bilateral facial nerve palsy due to Wegener’s granulomatosis.
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