Contributor: Gordon K. Klintworth
The Melkerson-Rosenthal syndrome is an idiopathic disorder characterized by orofacial edema, facial paralysis and lingua plicata. Facial paralysis is only present in a minority of cases and other cranial nerves (optic nerve, oculomotor nerve, trigeminal nerve, hypoglossal nerve) may be affected. The condition was first described by Melkerson and later by Rosenthal. The eyelid can be be involved with the edema and from the facial paralysis. Other ophthalmologic manifestations that may occur include optic neuritis, oculomotor palsy and bilateral recurrent exophthalmos. Ptosis may impair the visual fields. A granulomatous blepharitis [blepharitis - granulomatous] occurs and granulomas may be present within the the lymphatic vessels of affected tissue. Migraine may be present (~20% of cases). Other symptoms have include dysgeusia. The incidence is unknown, but the disorder is rare. All patients have been caucasians and most cases have been reported in Europe. Males are affected more often than females (2:1). Onset is usually between 20-30 years of age.