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Open Access Publications from the University of California

Facial Baroparesis Mimicking Stroke


We report a case of a 55-year-old male who experienced unilateral facial muscle paralysis upon ascent to altitude on a commercial airline flight, with resolution of symptoms shortly after descent. The etiology was determined to be facial nerve barotrauma, or facial baroparesis, which is a known but rarely reported complication of scuba diving, with even fewer cases reported related to aviation. The history and proposed pathogenesis of this unique disease process are described.

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