Bell’s palsy in pregnancy as a prodromal sign of preeclampsia: A report of three cases, pregnancy outcome, and literature review

Tadele Melese Benti, Mercy Nassali, Jemal Z. Shifa, Dereje Habte


Bell’s palsy is a less common neurological disorder in the general population. Its occurrence during pregnancy can be used as a predictor of adverse obstetric outcomes including preeclampsia and its complications. We report cases of three pregnant women from Botswana who presented with Bell’s palsy in the third trimester coexisting with preeclampsia and multiple complications. One of the patient was a case of maternal near-miss with multiple life threating complications including stage 3 acute kidney injury (AKI) and required hemodialysis. The second and third patients developed Bell`s palsy and preeclampsia at term, management of preeclampsia commenced with immediate delivery resulting in good maternal and neonatal outcome. In all the three patients preeclampsia and Bell`s palsy completely resolved post-delivery. Therefore, new onset Bell’s palsy in pregnancy may be used as a prodromal sign of preeclampsia. Such patients deserve close follow up for preeclampsia or gestational hypertension for a better obstetric outcome. (Afr J Reprod Health 2021; 25[3]: 135-141).

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