FREY SYNDROME

Also known as Auriculotemporal syndrome or Gustatory sweating, it is an unusual phenomenon which arises as a result of damage to the auriculotemporal nerve and subsequent reinnervation of sweat glands by parasympathetic salivary fibers.

Etiology: This syndrome follows some surgical operation (area involving auriculotemporal nerve) , during which the damaged nerve regenerates, parasympathetic nerve supply develops, interacting sweat glands, which then function after salivary, gustatory, or psychic stimulation.

Clinical features: Patient typically exhibits flushing and sweating of the involved face, mainly temporal region, during eating.

Profused sweating can be evoked by parenteral administration of pilocarpine or eliminated by administration of atropine or a prominent block of auriculotemporal nerve.

The syndrome is a possible complication of parotitis, parotid tumor, ramus resection, mandibular resection for correction of prognathism. It has been reported as a complication in as high as 80% of cases following parotidectomy.

Treatment: Intracranial division of auriculotemporal nerve.

Reference: Shafer’s Textbook of Oral Pathology, 9th edition.

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