Only 18% of Lyme Disease patients studied in Nova Scotia had a rash… not the 60-80% stated by Canadian governments, AMMI, and in Canadian medical curricula
Lyme Arthritis: an Emerging Clinical Problem in Nova Scotia, Canada
Pier D. Glaude1, Adam M. Huber1, Timothy Mailman2, Suzanne Ramsey2, Bianca Lang2 and Elizabeth Stringer1
Article first published online: 27 MAR 2014
Copyright © 2014 by the American College of Rheumatology
Seventeen patients were identified; all patients were referred for evaluation of arthritis. 76% of patients presented in 2012 and 2013. Median age was 11.5 years (2.6–15.8), 16 were male. All lived in known endemic areas with Lunenburg county being most common (59%); 76% did not recall a tick bite. Subjects were referred by their family physician (7), emergency department (4), orthopedic surgery (4), and infectious diseases (2). The median number of physician visits for MSK symptoms prior to rheumatology consult was 2 (range 1 to >5). Only one patient was referred with a known diagnosis of LD; LD was suspected in 37.5% of the remaining cases based on referral information. Six patients had prior joint aspiration, 2 of whom were treated for septic arthritis. Pain and/or swelling were reported by all patients; in those with swelling 47% were persistent/53% episodic. The median number of joints involved was 1, with 94% having knee involvement. Patients reported MSK–symptoms for a median of 2 months (range 0.1–11) prior to referral to rheumatology. Four patients had a history of neurologic manifestations of LD prior to MSK presentation, none of which were recognized as LD. ECG was done in 13 cases and was normal. Three patients had a history of erythema migrans. 14/17 patients have completed antibiotic treatment. Arthritis resolved in 50% of patients after 1 course of antibiotics and 29% after 2 courses. A third course of antibiotics was required in 21% of patients for persistent arthritis. Two patients continued to have arthritis following completion of antibiotic therapy. At a median of 5 months (range 0–50) following treatment, there are 2 patients with persistent synovitis and functional limitations; one having evidence of joint damage despite extensive arthritis treatment (NSAID, steroid injection, DMARDs and a biologic).