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: 2.9). 08/2000; 83(1):67-71.
Source: PubMed


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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Available from: Marko Wilke, Dec 08, 2015
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    • "Special attention should be paid to the clinical, serological, and CSF findings compatible with B. burgdorferi infection, as successful treatment of early Lyme disease [53] can prevent the expensive and devastating consequences of late/chronic Lyme disease. B. burgdorferi in a similar way to T. pallidum, invades various cells including neurons and glial cells. "
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    ABSTRACT: Whether spirochetes persist in affected host tissues and cause the late/chronic manifestations of neurosyphilis was the subject of long-lasting debate. Detection of Treponema pallidum in the brains of patients with general paresis established a direct link between persisting infection and tertiary manifestations of neurosyphilis. Today, the same question is in the center of debate with respect to Lyme disease. The goal of this review was to compare the established pathological features of neurosyphilis with those available for Lyme neuroborreliosis. If the main tertiary forms of neurosyphilis also occur in Lyme neuroborreliosis and Borrelia burgdorferi can be detected in brain lesions would indicate that the spirochete is responsible for the neuropsychiatric manifestations of late/chronic Lyme neuroborreliosis. The substantial amounts of data available in the literature show that the major forms of late/chronic Lyme neuroborreliosis (meningovascular and meningoencephalitis) are clinically and pathologically confirmed. Borrelia burgdorferi was detected in association with tertiary brain lesions and cultivated from the affected brain or cerebrospinal fluid. The accumulated data also indicate that Borrelia burgdorferi is able to evade from destruction by the host immune reactions, persist in host tissues and sustain chronic infection and inflammation. These observations represent evidences that Borrelia burgdorferi in an analogous way to Treponema pallidum is responsible for the chronic/late manifestations of Lyme neuroborreliosis. Late Lyme neuroborreliosis is accepted by all existing guidelines in Europe, US and Canada. The terms chronic and late are synonymous and both define tertiary neurosyphilis or tertiary Lyme neuroborreliosis. The use of chronic and late Lyme neuroborreliosis as different entities is inaccurate and can be confusing. Further pathological investigations and the detection of spirochetes in infected tissues and body fluids are strongly needed.
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    • "The long-term outcome of noncomplicated neuroborreliosis (facial paralysis or pleocytosis) seems to be quite good, with minor residual facial palsies in up to 20% of patients. Cerebrovascular neuroborreliosis with signs of vasculitis and cerebral ischemia has rarely been reported in children [51]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato is the causative agent of Lyme borreliosis in humans. This inflammatory disease can affect the skin, the peripheral and central nervous system, the musculoskeletal and cardiovascular system and rarely the eyes. Early stages are directly associated with viable bacteria at the site of inflammation. The pathogen-host interaction is complex and has been elucidated only in part. B. burgdorferi is highly susceptible to antibiotic treatment and the majority of patients profit from this treatment. Some patients develop chronic persistent disease despite repeated antibiotics. Whether this is a sequel of pathogen persistence or a status of chronic auto-inflammation, auto-immunity or a form of fibromyalgia is highly debated. Since vaccination is not available, prevention of a tick bite or chemoprophylaxis is important. If the infection is manifest, then treatment strategies should target not only the pathogen by using antibiotics but also the chronic inflammation by using anti-inflammatory drugs.
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