Which tests are performed to identify or exclude other disorders in the diagnosis of Bell palsy (idiopathic facial paralysis) (IFP)?

Updated: Jun 14, 2019
  • Author: Danette C Taylor, DO, MS, FACN; Chief Editor: Selim R Benbadis, MD  more...
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No specific diagnostic tests are available for Bell palsy, though the following may be useful for identifying or excluding other disorders:

  • Rapid plasma reagin (RPR) and/or venereal disease research laboratory (VDRL) test or fluorescent treponemal antibody absorption (FTA-ABS) test

  • HIV screening by means of enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) and/or Western blot

  • Complete blood cell (CBC) count

  • Erythrocyte sedimentation rate measurement

  • Thyroid function studies

  • Serum glucose level

  • Cerebrospinal fluid analysis

In addition to the above tests, blood glucose or hemoglobin A1c levels may be obtained to determine if the patient has undiagnosed diabetes. Persons with diabetes have a 29% higher risk of being affected by Bell palsy than do persons without diabetes.

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