MULTICENTER STUDY
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Ocular manifestations in children and adolescents with Lyme arthritis.

BACKGROUND: Lyme arthritis is the most frequent late manifestation of Lyme borreliosis and has been associated with ocular inflammation.

METHODS: A group of 153 children and adolescents with arthritis, 84 of whom had Lyme arthritis and 69 other causes of arthritis, were followed prospectively for 22-73 (median 44) months in the course of a national study.

RESULTS: Three of 84 patients with Lyme arthritis had ocular inflammation (4%), including keratitis, anterior uveitis, and uveitis intermedia. All three had symptoms of decreased visual acuity. Whereas anterior uveitis disappeared without sequelae, a corneal scar and a permanent loss of visual acuity in the patients with keratitis and intermediate uveitis remained. Systematic examination of all patients revealed no further ocular involvement. Of 69 patients with other causes of arthritis who were followed in parallel as a control group, four of 15 patients with early onset pauciarticular juvenile rheumatoid arthritis had chronic anterior uveitis and two of 12 patients with juvenile spondyloarthropathy had acute anterior uveitis.

CONCLUSIONS: Ocular involvement with keratitis, anterior uveitis, and intermediate uveitis may occur in children and adolescents with Lyme arthritis. Visual loss appears to be symptomatic, making regular ocular screening of such patients unnecessary.

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