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Reactivation of herpes simplex virus type 1 and varicella-zoster virus and therapeutic effects of combination therapy with prednisolone and valacyclovir in patients with Bell's palsy.

Author(s): Kawaguchi K, Inamura H, Abe Y, Koshu H, Takashita E, Muraki Y, Matsuzaki Y, Nishimura H, Ishikawa H, Fukao A, Hongo S, Aoyagi M

Affiliation(s): Department of Otolaryngology, Yamagata University School of Medicine, Yamagata, Japan. kazukawa@med.id.yamagata-u.ac.jp

Publication date & source: 2007-01, Laryngoscope., 117(1):147-56.

Publication type: Multicenter Study; Randomized Controlled Trial; Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

OBJECTIVES: To determine whether reactivation of herpes simplex virus (HSV) type 1 or varicella-zoster virus (VZV) is the main cause of Bell's palsy and whether antiviral drugs bring about recovery from Bell's palsy. STUDY DESIGN: Randomized, multicenter, controlled study. METHODS: One hundred fifty patients with Bell's palsy were enrolled in this study. The patients were randomly assigned to a prednisolone group or a prednisolone-valacyclovir group, in whom virologic examinations for HSV-1 and VZV were performed by simple randomization scheme in sealed envelopes. The recovery rates among various groups were analyzed using the Kaplan-Meier method and the Cox proportional hazards model. RESULTS: Reactivation of HSV-1, VZV, and both viruses was detected in 15.3%, 14.7%, and 4.0% of patients, respectively. There was no significant difference in recovery rates between the prednisolone group and the prednisolone-valacyclovir group, although recovery in the patients with HSV-1 reactivation tended to be higher in the prednisolone-valacyclovir group than in the prednisolone group. There was a significant difference in recovery among age groups and between individuals with complete and incomplete paralysis. CONCLUSIONS: Reactivation of HSV-1 or VZV was observed in 34% of the patients with Bell's palsy. The effect of combination therapy with prednisolone and valacyclovir on recovery was not significantly higher than that with prednisolone alone.

Page last updated: 2007-02-12

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