A G7P5A1 woman in her 40s presented to the emergency department at 37 weeks 3 days’ estimated gestational age (EGA) with headache, lip tingling and several days of difficulty speaking. Physical examination demonstrated bilateral facial weakness in a peripheral distribution, as well as decreased corneal reflexes and cervical lymphadenopathy. Routine fourth generation HIV screening had previously been negative at 14 and 28 weeks’ EGA. Brain MRI was unremarkable, and lumbar puncture disclosed a low-grade, mononuclear cerebrospinal fluid pleocytosis; the patient was treated supportively. She returned for induction of labour at 39 weeks, at which time HIV infection was unexpectedly diagnosed. While unilateral idiopathic peripheral facial paralysis is associated with the third trimester of pregnancy and the early postpartum period, bilateral facial paralysis is rare and should prompt work-up for an underlying systemic cause, such as HIV infection.
- HIV / AIDS
- cranial nerves
- infection (neurology)
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Contributors ATL conceived of the work, collected data and revised the manuscript. NBG collected data, assisted in consenting the patient and revised the manuscript. BWJ conceived of the work, collected data, consented the patient and revised the work critically for intellectual content.
Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.
Competing interests None declared.
Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.
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