Bell's Palsy in Pregnancy and Postpartum: A Retrospective Case-Control Study of 182 Patients.Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2023 May; 168(5):1025-1033.OH
To assess the incidence of Bell's palsy in pregnant and postpartum women. Additionally, to compare facial outcomes in terms of Sunnybrook score following Bell's palsy with regard to corticosteroid treatment and other confounding factors.
Retrospective case-control study.
University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden.
All women with Bell's palsy in pregnancy or postpartum (6 weeks after birth) with a computerized medical chart in the Stockholm Region 2005 to 2015 were included. The total number of births in the region during this period was retrieved from the Swedish Medical Birth Register. Nonpregnant age-matched women with Bell's palsy served as controls. Characteristics, medication, and Sunnybrook scores were collected. Risk factors for incomplete recovery (Sunnybrook score <96) at 3 months were calculated by logistic regression.
In total, 182 pregnant and postpartum women with Bell's palsy were identified. The estimated incidence among pregnant and postpartum women was 60.5/100,000 person-years. The mean Sunnybrook score at 3 months was 74 among pregnant and postpartum women and 83 for controls (p = .002). At 12 months, Sunnybrook score was 81 and 89, respectively (p = .017). Only one-third of the pregnant women received corticosteroid treatment.
The incidence of Bell's palsy in pregnancy and postpartum was 60.5 per 100,000 women and year in the Stockholm Region. Sunnybrook score was poorer in pregnant women compared with postpartum and nonpregnant women throughout. Corticosteroid treatment had little effect on any patients, however, only one-third of the pregnant women received this treatment.