The effects of corticosteroids on the early and late outcome of 42 children (21 boys, 21 girls) with Bell’s palsy (acute idiopathic facial nerve paralysis) were evaluated in a prospective randomized study at the University of Istanbul, Turkey. Patients were examined in the first 3 days after onset and at 4, 6, and 12 months follow-up. In the group (n=21) that received methylpredisolone (1 mg/kg daily for 10 days orally), complete recovery occurred in 86% and 100% at 4 and 6 months follow-up, respectively. In the control untreated group (n=21), 72% and 86% had recovered completely at 4 and 6 months, and all patients had recovered by 12 months. No significant difference was found in the two groups, and the steroid group exhibited no serious side effects. [1]

COMMENT. In this large group of children with Bell’s palsy, steroid therapy begun within 3 days of onset had no significant effect on the outcome.