RESEARCH SUPPORT, NON-U.S. GOV'T
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The clinical and epidemiological profile of Lyme neuroborreliosis in Denmark 1985-1990. A prospective study of 187 patients with Borrelia burgdorferi specific intrathecal antibody production.

Brain 1992 April
This prospective study reports the clinical and epidemiological features of 187 consecutive patients with neuroborreliosis recognized in Denmark over the 6-yr period, 1985-1990. Only patients with intrathecal Borrelia burgdorferi specific antibody synthesis were included. In 1990 regional incidences varied between 5.7 and 24.1 per million. Ninety-four percent of the patients had early (second stage) neuroborreliosis. The most common manifestation was a painful lymphocytic meningoradiculitis (Bannwarth's syndrome) either with paresis (61%) or as a radicular pain syndrome only (25%). Central nervous system (CNS) involvement in early neuroborreliosis was rare; 4% had signs of myelitis and only one patient had acute encephalitis. Children showed a different course of the disease. Six percent of the patients suffered a chronic course with a disease duration between 6 mths and 6 yrs either as chronic lymphocytic meningitis (1.6%) or as third stage chronic encephalomyelitis (4.3%). Meningeal signs were rare despite pronounced inflammatory cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) changes (median cell count 160/microliters; median protein concentration 1.13 g/l). High dose i.v. penicillin G was administered to 91% of the patients. Based on the clinical outcome and normalization of CSF no treatment failures were recognized. The final morbidity after a median follow-up of 33 mths was low; disabling sequelae were reported in nine patients, mainly those with previous CNS involvement. We conclude that neuroborreliosis is a common and characteristic neurological disorder. The diagnosis should be based on the demonstration of inflammatory CSF changes and B. burgdorferi specific intrathecal antibody production.

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