, Volume 60, Issue 10, pp 1053–1061 | Cite as

Magnetic resonance imaging of developmental facial paresis: a spectrum of complex anomalies

  • Shaimaa Abdelsattar MohammadEmail author
  • Tougan Taha Abdelaziz
  • Mohamed I. Gadelhak
  • Hanan H. Afifi
  • Ghada M. H. Abdel-Salam



Despite its clinical implications, the MRI features of developmental facial paresis (DFP) were described in a few case reports. This study aims to describe MRI features of DFP in relation to the embryological development with a proposed radiological new grading system.


The clinical records and MRI of the brain and internal auditory canal of 11 children with DFP were retrospectively reviewed. The following sequences were analyzed: axial, oblique sagittal SPACE of the internal auditory canal and brainstem; axial T2, T1WI and coronal T2WI of the brain. The severity of the maldevelopment of the seventh nerve was graded from 0 to 4: 0 = no abnormalities, 1 = unilateral facial nerve hypoplasia, 2 = unilateral facial nerve aplasia, 3 = aplasia or hypoplasia involving facial nerves on both sides, and 4 = facial nerve aplasia or hypoplasia associated with other cranial nerve palsy.


Isolated facial nerve palsy was diagnosed in seven patients. It was of grade 1 in five and grade 3 in two. Hypoplasia of the nerve with interrupted course was encountered in two cases. Other associated cranial nerve abnormalities (grade 4) were seen in four patients; two of them were diagnosed previously as Moebius syndrome. In addition to inner ear anomalies, middle and external ear and parotid gland anomalies were described.


To our knowledge, this is the largest series of patients with DFP that represents a continuum of isolated and combined malformations. Understanding of embryological basis can give insights into the anomalous development of the facial nerve.


Congenital facial palsy Moebius syndrome Hereditary congenital facial paresis Abducens nerve Trigeminal nerve 



Developmental facial palsy


Hereditary congenital facial palsy


Compliance with ethical standards


No funding was received for this study.

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This study was performed in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards. For this type of study formal consent is not required.

Informed consent

For this type of retrospective study formal consent is not required.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Shaimaa Abdelsattar Mohammad
    • 1
    Email author
  • Tougan Taha Abdelaziz
    • 1
  • Mohamed I. Gadelhak
    • 2
  • Hanan H. Afifi
    • 2
  • Ghada M. H. Abdel-Salam
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Radiodiagnosis, Faculty of MedicineAin-Shams UniversityCairoEgypt
  2. 2.Clinical Genetics Department, Human Genetics and Genome Research DivisionNational Research CentreCairoEgypt

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