Primarily chronic and cerebrovascular course of Lyme neuroborreliosis: case reports and literature review.

Kinderklinik der Georg-August- Universitat, Abteilung Kinderheilkunde, Schwerpunkt Neuropadiatrie, Robert-Koch-Strabetae 40, 37075 Gottingen, Germany.
Archives of Disease in Childhood (Impact Factor: 2.91). 08/2000; 83(1):67-71.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT As part of an ongoing study aiming to define the clinical spectrum of neuroborreliosis in childhood, we have identified four patients with unusual clinical manifestations. Two patients suffered from a primarily chronic form of neuroborreliosis and displayed only non-specific symptoms. An 11 year old boy presented with long standing symptoms of severe weight loss and chronic headache, while the other patient had pre-existing mental and motor retardation and developed seizures and failure to thrive. Two further children who presented with acute hemiparesis as a result of cerebral ischaemic infarction had a cerebrovascular course of neuroborreliosis. One was a 15 year old girl; the other, a 5 year old boy, is to our knowledge the youngest patient described with this course of illness. Following adequate antibiotic treatment, all patients showed substantial improvement of their respective symptoms. Laboratory and magnetic resonance imaging findings as well as clinical course are discussed and the relevant literature is reviewed.

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    ABSTRACT: Lyme neuroborreliosis (LNB) designates the nervous system disorders caused by the tick-borne spirochete Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb). The clinical syndromes are usually distinct and are classified as early and the rare late or chronic LNB. Early LNB occurs 3-6 weeks after infection most frequently as a lymphocytic meningoradiculoneuritis (LMR). Symptoms are mainly due to a painful sensory radiculitis and a multifocal motor radiculo-neuritis. Fifty percent have cranial nerve involvement predominantly uni- or bilateral facial nerve palsies. Meningitic symptoms occur primarily in children. Nerve biopsies, autopsies, animal models, and nerve conduction studies showed that the pathology is a lymphocytic perineuritis leading to multisegmental axonal injury of nerve roots, spinal ganglia, and distal nerve segments. Due to meningeal and root inflammation cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) shows lymphocytic inflammation. The only evidence that Bb causes peripheral neuropathy without CSF inflammation is seen in patients with acrodermatitis chronica atrophicans (ACA), a chronic dermatoborreliosis. In the rare chronic or late LNB the pathology and thus the clinical presentation is primarily due to chronic meningitis and meningovascular CNS involvement, whereas the peripheral nervous system is not primarily affected. In early and late LNB the diagnosis is based on a characteristic clinical appearance and CSF inflammation with Bb-specific intrathecal antibody production. Both conditions, but not the ACA-associated neuropathy, respond to antibiotic therapy.
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