Ramsay Hunt syndrome

Ramsay Hunt syndrome (RMS), also known as herpes zoster oticus, is essentially shingles of the facial nerve. Latent infection is present in the geniculate ganglion with painful vesicles showing in the external acoustic meatus, tympanic membrane and pinna associated with facial palsy. There may be involvement of the vestibulocochlear nerve (CN VIII) in which case vertigo, sensorineural hearing loss, and tinnitus may be present.

Imaging is identical to that seen in Bell palsy, with increased enhancement of the facial nerve. Care should be taken not to mistake normal facial nerve enhancement on MRI for that observed in RMS.

Named after James Ramsay Hunt, an American neurologist (1872-1937) 2.

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Article Information

rID: 1957
Section: Syndromes
Tags: refs, cases
Synonyms or Alternate Spellings:
  • Herpes zoster oticus
  • Ramsay-Hunt syndrome

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