Journal Club Summary
Quant EC, et. al 2009;339:b3354.
This high quality meta-analysis demonstrated that the addition of antivirals to steroids did not result in any additional benefit in achieving at least partial facial muscle recovery for Bell’s palsy when compared to steroids alone. JC attendees noted that these conclusions were in contrast to a previously reviewed meta-analysis which came to the opposite conclusion. It was felt that this meta-analysis combined higher quality and more population homogeneous studies that supported the results. It is possible that antivirals may benefit patients with severe facial paralysis but further evidence is required to confirm the trend in this subgroup.