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“Chronic Lyme disease” as the incorrect diagnosis in patients with fibromyalgia.



To evaluate a large number of patients referred with persistent symptoms thought to represent chronic
Lyme disease.


We retrospectively reviewed the charts of nearly 800 patients referred with persisting nonspecific musculoskeletal and/or neurologic symptoms thought to represent chronic
Lyme disease.


Seventy-seven patients were found to have fibromyalgia, not ongoing
Lyme disease, as the explanation of their chronic symptoms. Many had received multiple courses of antibiotic therapy for symptoms of fibromyalgia mistakenly attributed to chronic
Lyme disease. No patient reported permanent and/or total resolution of fibromyalgia symptoms following antibiotic therapy. Appropriate therapy for fibromyalgia in those who remained compliant, however, was often effective in improving some if not all of the chronic symptoms.


Fibromyalgia is a treatable and potentially curable disorder, and should be considered in the evaluation of patients with “refractory
Lyme disease.”

Arthritis Rheum. 1993 Nov;36(11):1493-500. [1]