What are the AAO-HNSF recommendations for diagnostic imaging and routine lab testing for 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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The latest guidelines (2103) from the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation do not recommend diagnostic imaging and routine lab testing for patients with new-onset disease. [1]

If the history and physical examination lead to a diagnosis of Bell palsy, then immediate imaging is not necessary, because most patients with Bell palsy improve within 8–10 weeks. If the paralysis does not improve or worsens, imaging may be useful. If the patient has a palpable parotid mass, imaging may be necessary.

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