5-year follow-up study of patients with neuroborreliosis.

Berglund J, Stjernberg L, Ornstein K, Tykesson-Joelsson K, Walter H.

Department of Community Medicine, Lund University, Malmo, Sweden. johan.berglund@ltblekinge.se

The objective of this follow-up study was to determine the long-term outcome of strictly classified cases of neuroborreliosis treated with antibiotics. A 1-y prospective population-based survey of Lyme borreliosis was conducted in southern Sweden between 1992 and 1993. A total of 349 identified cases with suspected neuroborreliosis were followed up 5 y later. Medical records were reviewed and all participants filled in a questionnaire. Of those patients classified with definite neuroborreliosis, 114/130 completed the follow-up, of whom 111 had completed the initial antibiotic treatment. Of the 114 patients followed up, 86 (75%) had recovered completely and 70 (61%) had recovered within 6 months. Residual neurological symptoms, such as facial palsy, concentration disorder, paresthesia and/or neuropathy, were reported by 28/114 patients. No significant differences between different antibiotic treatments were observed in terms of the occurrence of sequelae.

To conclude, we found that 25% (95% confidence interval 17-33%) of the patients suffered from residual neurological symptoms 5 y post-treatment. However, the clinical outcome of treated neuroborreliosis is favorable as only 14/114 (12%) patients had sequelae that influenced their daily activities post-treatment. Early diagnosis and treatment would seem to be of great importance in order to avoid such sequelae.

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