Bilateral facial nerve palsy secondary to the administration of high- dose paclitaxel

R. T. Lee, M. W. Oster, C. Balmaceda, C. S. Hesdorffer, L. T. Vahdat, K. P. Papadopoulos

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Scopus citations


Bilateral facial nerve palsy is an uncommon occurrence. We describe a case of bilateral facial nerve palsy secondary to a single cycle of high-dose paclitaxel therapy (825 mg/m2), in a woman with breast cancer. Prior to her high-dose therapy, she had a residual grade 2 peripheral neuropathy following treatment with ten cycles of standard-dose paclitaxel (total dose 3200 mg). The features of the peripheral neuropathy due to standard-dose paclitaxel, which can be both motor and sensory, are well described. Cumulative paclitaxel dose is considered a risk factor for development of the neuropathy. Although facial nerve palsy secondary to paclitaxel is not previously reported, other cranial nerve toxicity has been described. Consistent with reports of the reversibility of paclitaxel-induced peripheral neuropathy, the facial nerve palsies in our patient resolved over 23 months. Ongoing studies of high-dose paclitaxel warrant close attention to its cumulative neurotoxic effects, particularly in patients previously treated with neurotoxic chemotherapy.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1245-1247
Number of pages3
JournalAnnals of Oncology
Issue number10
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Bilateral facial nerve palsy
  • Neurotoxicity
  • Paclitaxel

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hematology
  • Oncology


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