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. 
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.