- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Ramsay Hunt's syndrome II

Related people

Unilateral herpes zoster infection of the geniculate ganglion (respectively n. Intermedius) with lesions of the external ear and oral mucosa. The symptoms include facial paralysis, severe pain in the ear with a bloody serous discharge due to vesicles on the tympanic membrane. The face is paralysed on the affected side, and there is loss of sense of taste in the anterior two-thirds of the tongue on the affected side. Other features include decreased salivation, hoarseness, tinnitus, decreased lacrimation, hearing disorder, and vertigo. Rare in children but seen commonly in the elderly population, with equal distribution between men and women. It is not contagious.

It is a common complication of shingles. Shingles is an infection caused by the varicella-zoster virus, which is the virus that causes chickenpox. Shingles occurs in people who have had chickenpox and represents a reactivation of the dormant varicella-zoster virus. Ramsay Hunt syndrome II is caused by the spread of the varicella-zoster virus to facial nerves.

Ramsay Hunt in 1907 first described this combination of symptoms as a syndrome. He separated between 4 forms:
1) herpes zoster without neuralgic signs;
2) herpes zoster oticus with facial paresis;
3) herpes zoster oticus with facial paresis and hearing symptoms
4) Ramsay Hunt syndrome - auricular herpes zoster syndrome.


  • J. R. Hunt:
    On herpetic inflammation of the geniculate ganglion: a new syndrome and its complications.
    The Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease, Baltimore, 1907, 34: 73-96.

What is an eponym?

An eponym is a word derived from the name of a person, whether real or fictional. A medical eponym is thus any word related to medicine, whose name is derived from a person.

What is Whonamedit?

Whonamedit.com is a biographical dictionary of medical eponyms. It is our ambition to present a complete survey of all medical phenomena named for a person, with a biography of that person.


Whonamedit? does not give medical advice.
This survey of medical eponyms and the persons behind them is meant as a general interest site only. No information found here must under any circumstances be used for medical purposes, diagnostically, therapeutically or otherwise. If you, or anybody close to you, is affected, or believe to be affected, by any condition mentioned here: see a doctor.