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To compare the detection rates of chromosomal flagellin gene from Borrelia burgdorferi in synovial tissue (ST) and synovial fluid (SF) using polymerase chain reaction (PCR) techniques.
B burgdorferi DNA was sought in SF and ST from 12 consecutive patients with
Lyme arthritis and from 29 patients with noninfectious diseases (controls).
No DNA amplification was observed in samples obtained from the 29 control patients, whereas B burgdorferi DNA was detected in all ST and/or SF samples from the 12 patients with
Lyme arthritis. Results from 1 ST sample were not interpretable because of PCR inhibitors. Among the 11 remaining patients, 10 had positive ST samples, whereas only 4 had positive SF samples (P < 0.05).
These data suggest that detection of chromosomal B burgdorferi DNA may be more efficient in ST than SF.