DÄ internationalArchive35-36/2021Melkersson–Rosenthal Syndrome: an Unusual Cause of Facial Palsy

Clinical Snapshot

Melkersson–Rosenthal Syndrome: an Unusual Cause of Facial Palsy

Dtsch Arztebl Int 2021; 118: 594. DOI: 10.3238/arztebl.m2021.0063

Lacombe, V; Urbanski, G; Lavigne, C


A 52-year-old woman was referred with left partial peripheral facial palsy (Figure A); there was no other neurological abnormality. She described gradual worsening for 5 days and a similar episode several years earlier. The tongue was fissured and the lower lip slightly enlarged (Figure B). The results of blood tests and cranial computed tomography were normal. The association of recurrent facial palsy, cheilitis, and a fissured tongue led to the diagnosis of Melkersson—Rosenthal syndrome. The complete form of this typical triad is rarely seen, and other symptoms may be observed, e.g., headache, facial swelling, lingual paresthesia, and alteration of taste. Biopsy of the swollen lip usually shows noncaseating granulomas, but the diagnosis is made on the basis of the clinical findings. Systemic corticotherapy is often used for treating flares, but no consensus has been reached on the treatment of chronic forms. In our patient, 7 days‘ corticotherapy (prednisone 50 mg/day) successfully dealt with the cheilitis and facial palsy, both of which completely resolved in 5 days.

Valentin Lacombe, Geoffrey Urbanski, MD; Christian Lavigne, MD, Department of Internal Medicine, Angers University Hospital, Angers, France

Conflict of interest statement: The authors declare that no conflict of interest exists.

Translated from the original German by Christine Rye.

Cthis as: Lacombe V, Urbanski G, Lavigne C: Autoren: Melkersson–Rosenthal syndrome: an unusual cause of facial palsy. Dtsch Arztebl Int 2021; 118: 594. DOI: 10.3238/arztebl.m2021.0063