Multiple cranial nerve palsies following COVID‐19 vaccination—Case report

Background

The novel COVID-19 vaccines have side effects that require efficient and close monitoring.

Aims of the Study

To examine whether the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine is associated with multiple cranial neuropathy.

Methods

We report the case of a 29-year-old male patient with no notable history who presented with left oculomotor, abducens, trigeminal and facial palsies 6 days after receiving the first dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine.

Results

Gadolinium-enhanced MRI of the brain revealed enhancement in the left facial, trigeminal and oculomotor nerves, which persisted upon repeated examination. The cerebrospinal fluid analysis showed no sign of inflammation, both initially and after 1 month from the start of the patient’s symptoms. Other causes were excluded by laboratory tests. The patient received high doses of corticosteroids, with improvement of symptoms.

Conclusions

In our case, the most probable etiology of the patient’s multiple cranial neuropathy is the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine, which highlights the need for prolonged surveillance of COVID-19 vaccine neurological complications.

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