Methods: Retrospective review of 1261 patients referred (2000–2013, single center) for presumptive LD was performed for neuroborreliosis. Symptoms less than 3 months were designated early LD. Patients with remote history of treated neuroborreliosis (> 2 years) were excluded. The diagnosis of LD followed CDC criteria. Response to antibiotics was assessed at the last clinical visit.
Results: Of 185 diagnosed with LD, 19% (35/185) had neuroborreliosis, including 29 early LD (ELD) and 6 late LD (LLD). The mean age was 44 yrs (±20) in ELD and 61(±11) in LLD. The median symptom duration was 14d (1–69) in ELD and 182d (140–2570) in LLD. Facial nerve palsy was most common, 54% (19/29 in ELD vs. 0/6 in LLD), followed by meningitis 20% (4/29 vs. 3/6), radiculopathy 20% (6/29 vs. 1/6), encephalopathy 3% (0/29 vs. 1/6), and peripheral neuropathy 3% (0/29 vs. 1/6) (p = 0.001). No encephalitis was identified. The median treatment duration (days) was 30 (10–135) in ELD and 56 (28–230) in LLD. All 35 patients were treated with doxycycline and/or ceftriaxone (16, 46% IV). Of the 32 followed patients, 28/32 (88%) responded to antibiotics, whereas 4/32 (12%) remained symptomatic with median follow-up duration of 72 days. Four non-responsive cases included 1 ELD (radiculopathy) and 3 LLDs (meningitis, encephalopathy, and peripheral neuropathy). The rate of non-response to antibiotics was higher in late LD (4% of ELD vs. 60% of LLD; p = 0.008). There was no statistically significant difference between outcome groups when comparing age, treatment duration, history of anxiety/depression, and route of treatment (p > 0.05, respectively).
Conclusion: Encephalopathy, encephalitis, and peripheral neuropathy ascribed to LD were uncommon in this population and poorly responsive to antibiotics. This raises the question whether LD truly was causal or if irreversible damage occurs by late stage LD. Future studies are needed in this regard.
P. Lantos, None
M. T. Melia, None
P. Auwaerter, None
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