Facial nerve palsy in children: A case series and literature review

Cynthia S. Wang, Mark Sakai, Ali Khurram, Kenneth Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The facial nerve is the most common cranial nerve to have a disorder. In adults, the incidence has been reported to be as high as 40 cases per 100,000 patients annually. In the pediatric population, the frequency of facial nerve palsy is much less. It is estimated that children over the age of 10 have an incidence of 10 per 100,000 annually and those under the age of 10 to be less than 3 per 100,000 annually. Nonetheless, when children are affected, it has a tremendous impact on the child and can cause great distress to the family. As with adults, the most common etiology of facial palsy in children is idiopathic (Bell's Palsy). However, the most frequent identifiable causes of facial palsy in children are different from that in adults. In children, when not idiopathic, infection followed by trauma and congenital conditions are the most commonly etiologies of facial nerve palsy. The diagnosis, evaluation, treatment and outcomes of facial palsy in children will be reviewed. In addition, a series of representative cases of pediatric facial palsy at our children's hospital will be presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100297
JournalOtolaryngology Case Reports
StatePublished - Sep 2021


  • Bell's palsy
  • Facial nerve weakness
  • Facial paralysis
  • Mastoiditis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Otorhinolaryngology


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