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A patient with neuroborreliosis presenting gadolinium-enhanced MRI lesions in bilateral facial nerves.

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We report a 33-year-old man with bilateral facial paralysis due to neuroborreliosis. About three weeks after rhinorrhea and fever lasting four days, he noticed fatigue in the legs and paresthesia in all four extremities. Another week later, he developed paresthesia in his tongue and bilateral facial muscle weakness, and was admitted to our hospital. On admission, neurological examination revealed moderate bilateral facial muscle weakness, mild paresthesia in the tongue and four extremities, and decreased Achilles tendon reflex bilaterally. Mild pleocytosis and increased protein were found in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF). IgM antibodies that reacted with the antigens of Borrelia garinii and Borrelia afzelii were found in his serum. Clinically and serologically, he was thus diagnosed as having neuroborreliosis. Brain MRI revealed gadolinium-enhanced lesions of the bilateral facial nerves in the facial nerve canal portion. After three weeks of treatment with 100 mg/day doxycycline and 2 g/day ceftriaxone sodium, his symptoms and CSF abnormalities were rapidly improved. Although facial nerve paralysis is a major symptom of neuroborreliosis, the present report is the first to detect the inflammatory lesions of the facial nerves in the facial nerve canal portion by MRI.

Rinsho Shinkeigaku. 2001 Sep;41(9):632-4. Case Reports; English Abstract

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