Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato infection in patients with peripheral facial palsy.Ticks Tick Borne Dis. 2019 02; 10(2):398-406.TT
The aims of the study were to determine the frequency of borrelial infection in patients with peripheral facial palsy (PFP) and to compare clinical and laboratory characteristics of patients with borrelial PFP and patients with PFP of unknown etiology. Adult patients with PFP who presented at our department between January 2006 and December 2013 qualified for the study if they had undergone lumbar puncture and also been tested for the presence of borrelial IgM and IgG antibodies in serum and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) in indirect chemiluminescence immunoassay. Patients with PFP who had obvious signs/symptoms indicating a disease other than Lyme borreliosis (LB) were excluded. Patients who qualified for the study were classified into three groups according to the clinical and microbiological criteria: those having confirmed LB, those with possible LB, and those with PFP of unknown etiology. Of 589 patients diagnosed with PFP during the eight-year period, 436 patients (240 males, 196 females) with median age 42.5 years (15-87 years) qualified for the study. Among these patients, 64 (14.7%) fulfilled criteria for confirmed LB, 120 (27.5%) had a diagnosis of possible LB, and in 252 (57.8%) the cause of their PFP remained unknown. When compared with patients with unknown cause of PFP, the patients with confirmed LB were older, more often presented in summer, more often reported tick bites, more frequently had LB in the past, more often complained of constitutional symptoms and radicular pain, and more often had bilateral palsy and CSF pleocytosis. Among the patients with possible LB and patients with unknown cause of PFP there were no differences in frequency of constitutional symptoms, radicular pain, bilateral palsy or CSF pleocytosis. Presentation in summer, tick bites, constitutional symptoms and radicular pain, bilateral palsy, and CSF pleocytosis strongly suggest borrelial etiology of PFP.